Just when we thought things were looking better – that perhaps we were on track to (new) normalcy – COVID cases are back on the rise.
According to the CDC’s data tracker weekly review, “The current 7-day moving average of daily new cases (26,306) increased 69.3% compared with the previous 7-day moving average (15,541). The current 7-day moving average is 89.6% lower than the peak observed on January 10, 2021 (251,880) and is 129.3% higher than the lowest value observed on June 20, 2021 (11,472).” 20 percent of new cases over the past week are from one state alone: Florida. Are we surprised?
The CDC reports over 160 million Americans (48.3 percent of the population) have been vaccinated and an additional 15 million have had at least one dose.
That means, over 44 percent of the population still needs to get vaccinated.
Yet, we are still seeing breakthrough cases among those who have been vaccinated. In fact, there are reports of a cluster of outbreak infections among the vaccinated during the week of Fourth of July festivities in the LGBT resort town, Provincetown. The CDC stresses, “COVID-19 vaccines are effective and are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control. However, no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people. There will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19.”
What is the cause for this increase in breakthrough infections? While we don’t know for sure, many are suggesting it is because of the Delta variant.
So, what is the takeaway from this?
1) Get vaccinated if you have not done so already. (But you just said vaccinated people are getting COVID too! — Yes, some are but their symptoms are generally much milder than for those who are unvaccinated)
2) Start wearing a mask indoors in public spaces again. (But, the CDC said we could stop doing that! Think about it – masks work. And with cases on the rise, it’s a small sacrifice we can make to mitigate the risk of becoming infected with COVID)
Jeremiah Robinson is a certified and licensed Physician Associate at T. Douglas Gurley MD in Atlanta, GA.