It is startling to see the words “now in the third year of the pandemic” in print, but here we are. For the foreseeable future, it will be necessary to continually re-evaluate new variants, community transmission levels, strategies for infection prevention, and therapies available to help those who become sick.
Didn’t Dr. Fauci say we are out of the COVID-19 pandemic now?
Yes. And no. On April 26 he stated to PBS “NewsHour” that: “We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase.” The next day, April 27, he revised his statement in an interview with the Washington Post to say the U.S. is “out of the full-blown explosive pandemic phase,” meaning that we will continue to see new variants and new waves of infection, but hopefully the higher levels of immunity due to vaccination and/or previous infection will help us avoid the high levels of hospitalization, severe illness, and death seen earlier.
What are some things we can do to stay safe this summer?
Great question! Glad I asked myself that.
- Keep COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots up to date as recommended by the CDC.
- If you feel sick, get tested. If you test positive:
- If you are at higher risk of poor outcome (for example: over 60, unvaccinated, or immune-suppressed), seek medical treatment immediately. Many treatments are only effective in reducing severe disease if used in the first days of the infection.
- Stay home and use the CDC Quarantine and Isolation Calculator to determine what you need to do to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- As you make plans for activities, including travel, refer to the CDC’s Community Transmission data and be aware of the risk factors for serious outcomes so that you can make an informed decision about the level of protective action needed for yourself and those in your care.
- If you need to protect yourself by masking indoors, make sure you are wearing a well-fitted N95 or KN95 mask correctly. Cloth and surgical masks do not provide adequate protection against recent variants.
- Take advantage of nicer weather to hold group activities outside when possible.
- Continue to wash your hands well. There are other infections out there besides COVID-19.
This is the last CPHO message of the 2021-2022 academic year. Best wishes to all for a healthy summer and thank you.