American Coronavirus: Nearly 73 million Americans live in counties with high Covid-19 infection. Time to reset and put the masks back on, expert says

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“We are at a very different stage of the pandemic compared to a month ago,” Dr Leana Wen told CNN’s Jim Acosta on Tuesday. “And therefore, we should follow the example of LA County and say that if there are places where vaccinated and unvaccinated people mix, then the inside mask warrants should still apply.”

Wen, a CNN medical analyst, said there are two exceptions to the occasions when she thinks people should wear masks indoors in public: when everyone is vaccinated and has provided evidence or if they there is a very high level of community vaccination.

Ideally, the mask warrants would be in place as leaders move towards proof of vaccine status methods to increase immunization rates, said Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

But about 22% of the U.S. population, or nearly 73 million people, live in a county considered to have “high” transmission of Covid-19, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC, only 48.7% of the total United States population is fully vaccinated against the virus – a number well below the 70 to 85% of health experts estimated it would take to slow or stop the spread. .
With vaccination rates this low, cases are increasing in 47 states, with a seven-day average of new cases at least 10% higher than the week before, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. On Monday, the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, signed a renewal of the public health emergency status due to Covid-19 for an additional 90 days, as some states are seeing particularly worrying impacts of the pandemic.

The current spike in cases could continue to put pressure on Mississippi’s health care system, state officials have warned.

“We’re going to have a tough few weeks, Delta is hitting us really hard,” state health official Dr Thomas Dobbs said on Tuesday. “We’re going to watch people die needlessly over the next two months for no good reason.”

Childhood Covid-19 cases have almost doubled since late June

As the virus spreads among unvaccinated adults, children – many of whom are not yet eligible for vaccination – are feeling the effects.

“It does not appear that this virus selectively targets children,” Dr. Peter Hotez, professor and dean of tropical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “It’s just that so many unvaccinated people get Delta, that kids are trained with.”

Last week, more than 23,000 children caught Covid-19, nearly double what was reported in late June, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported on Tuesday. Children account for almost 16% of the cases reported weekly.

Young children will pay the price if enough American adults don't get Covid-19 vaccine, expert says

And although children are less likely to develop serious illness from Covid-19 than older adults, CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky has rebuffed claims that they would not be affected.

“One thing I just want to note with children is that I think we fall into this misconception of saying that only 400 of those 600,000 deaths from COVID-19 occurred in children,” Walensky said. . “Children aren’t supposed to die. So 400 is a huge amount for the respiratory season.”

Currently, the youngest population eligible for vaccination is 12-year-olds, although studies are underway to provide protection to young children.

Data on Covid-19 vaccines in children under 12 is “very likely” to be available by the start of winter, said director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases , Dr Anthony Fauci.

And when they are available, Fauci said he would not be surprised if schools consider including Covid-19 vaccines as a mandatory vaccination.

If the pandemic is completely crushed and stays on the sidelines with very little activity, then he said he didn’t think the Covid-19 school vaccinations would be needed. However, if we move forward this year and next year, there is still an issue with the coronavirus, “it could very well be necessary,” Fauci said on CBS This Morning on Tuesday.

Workplaces begin to impose vaccinations

Many experts have suggested that local vaccination mandates could be an important strategy to increase the vaccination rate and bring the virus under control.

Starting in August, workers at New York City hospitals and health clinics will either need to get vaccinated or take weekly Covid-19 tests, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press secretary Bill. Neidhardt.

Eleven public hospitals are part of the initiative.

US 'Loses Time' In Vaccine Race As Delta Variant Becomes More Common, Expert Says

Additionally, Banner Health, a nonprofit health service that is Arizona’s largest private employer, is requiring employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to keep their jobs.

“With a few exceptions, all team members have until November 1 to be fully immunized,” the company said in a press release on Tuesday.

Banner Health cited the rise of the Delta variant as the reason for the tenure, as well as the need to prepare for the upcoming flu season. The company says details on how employees might request an exemption from the requirement will be released later.

“We are taking this step to reduce risk to our patients, their families, visitors and others,” President and CEO Peter Fine said in a written statement. “Safety is a top priority and the COVID vaccine mandate reflects this commitment. “

Banner Health said it employed about 52,000 people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming.

Such measures could become more common when vaccines get full clearance from the FDA, experts have said.

Despite the vaccination campaign, a poll released Tuesday by Axios-Ipsos showed that a majority of unvaccinated Americans said they were not at all likely to be vaccinated, regardless of outreach efforts.

CNN’s Deidre McPhillips and Michael Nedelman, Jacqueline Howard, Hayley Simonson, Lauren Mascarenhas, Jen Christensen, Virginia Langmaid, Naomi Thomas and Mark Morales contributed to this report.


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