Covid UpdateAugust 2021

There has been a significant increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the US. 35% of the counties are experiencing high levels of community transmission and COVID-19 is on the rise in 90% of US jurisdictions. The majority of outbreaks are in areas that have low vaccination coverage.

These alarming trends are due to the accelerated spread of the highly transmissible B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant. With the rise in the number of new cases of the virus there has been more strain on healthcare resources, and more cases of hospitalization and death.

The recent surge in COVID-19 cases also allows more opportunities for the virus to mutate, which could lead to the emergence of additional new variants. Variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 are now responsible for all cases in the US. The original strain is no longer detected among variants circulating throughout the country. The Delta variant is now the predominant strain, making up an estimated 83.2% of recent US cases. The best way to slow the emergence of new variants is to reduce the spread of infection by protecting yourself–including getting vaccinated.

COVID-19 is now preventable and the vaccines that are authorized for use in the US are safe and effective against Delta and other variants. If you receive a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you will need 2 shots to get the most protection. You should get your second shot even if you have side effects after your first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to. If you are only partially vaccinated, you are more likely to get infected, get sick, and spread the virus to others. When you are fully vaccinated, you are protected against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

To find a vaccine provider near you, visit Vaccines.gov or your state or local public health department website. You can also text your zip code to 438829 to get 3 locations near you with vaccines in stock. If you prefer this information in Spanish, text your zip code to 822862. You can also call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline at 1-800-232-0233 to get help in English, Spanish, and more than 150 other languages. They also have a TTY line to support access by hearing impaired callers. If you or someone you know is hesitant about receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, CDC has information and answers to frequently asked questions here.

For further info please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html