Here’s a few virus and vaccination updates. Three things in summary:
- We cannot let up on precautions to reduce virus spread
- Virus variants are real and threatening current vaccination progress
- Vaccinations are what will ultimately deliver us out of this pandemic
We know this virus is wearing. Stay the course and take time to take care of yourself!
Infection Rates on the Rise - Virus infections rates are on the rise again nationally after periods of decline. Sources believe this is due to Americans getting lax with precautions coupled with virus variants (remember the variants are highly contagious and cause the virus to spread more rapidly). Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated, "Please hear me clearly: At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained."
Action - Stay strong in your conviction. Continue to wear your well-fitting mask and/or face shield, social distancing, hand washing, symptom checks, etc. There are no changes to EPI procedures.
Traveling Soon or for Spring Break? - Use caution. Check for and avoid "hot spots" (where the virus is spreading rapidly). Be informed of the COVID restrictions but remember these can vary widely. Continue to follow the CDC's guidance at a minimum.
Ventilation an Important Prevention Strategy - Ventilation is one component of maintaining healthy environments, and is an important COVID-19 prevention strategy. Spring is just around the corner and can help achieve healthy environments. Here are some tips:
- Bring in as much outdoor air as possible, including in transportation vehicles.
- Ensure heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) settings are maximizing ventilation.
- Filter and/or clean the air in your environment.
Persons Served Vaccination Clinics - Waiting for Vaccination Allocation
- The Governor recently signaled the state is getting ready to move to Phase 1B, Tier 2 where persons with disabilities living in congregate settings are identified.
- We are tirelessly working to get vaccination allocated for persons served.
- We're hopeful we'll get word here in the next week or so.
- In the meantime, person served who are over 65 years of age have been getting signed up for vaccinations as spots have become available with Walgreens and CVS.
Third Vaccination Approved; Experts Stress "Don't be too picky about which vaccine is available to you"
- Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine will start being administered in the U.S.; which is expected to ramp up vaccination distribution
- Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated, "Ultimately, vaccination is what will bring us out of this pandemic. To get there, we need to vaccinate many more people."
- Right now the key is getting to immunity of some kind (with 7.7% of Americans fully vaccinated with both doses, we have a ways to go).
- Health experts stress, "Get whatever vaccine is first available to you."