On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new masking guidelines in the wake of the rapid rise in cases of the COVID-19 delta variant. The new guidance includes recommendations that everyone – including fully vaccinated individuals – wear a mask in public indoor settings to prevent the spread of the virus.
“People who decline to be vaccinated are essentially choosing to be naturally infected with COVID-19 instead,” said Jennifer Corder, MD, Deputy Health Officer for Garrett and Allegany Counties. “COVID-19 is not going anywhere, and is more easily transmissible than ever. Choose the safer way to develop immunity. Choose to be vaccinated.”
TOP 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT COVID-19 AND DELTA VARIANT
1. Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalization, and death; it also helps reduce the spread of the virus in communities.
• Unvaccinated individuals should get vaccinated and continue masking until they are fully vaccinated.
• With the Delta variant, this is more urgent than ever. The highest spread of cases and severe outcomes is happening in places with low vaccination rates
2. Data show Delta is different than past versions of the virus: it is much more contagious.
• Some vaccinated people can get Delta in a breakthrough infection and may be contagious.
• Even so, vaccinated individuals represent a very small amount of transmission occurring around the country.
• Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated.
3. In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends that everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent spread of Delta and protect others.
4. CDC recommends that community leaders encourage vaccination and masking to prevent further outbreaks in areas of substantial and high transmission.
5. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
The Allegany County Health Department reports that 40.6% of all Allegany County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 compared to 58.7% of all Marylanders.
Allegany County COVID-19 Case Statistics as of July 27:
• New COVID Cases: 4 (cumulative total 7,092)
• Additional Deaths: 0 (cumulative total 212)
• Cases Per 100,000 Population: 2.84 (Maryland: 5.19)
• Positivity Rate: 1.52 % (Maryland: 2.45%)
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their masking recommendations as new information is learned about the delta variant ofvCOVID-19 which has quickly spread across the U.S.
The agency is now recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in the parts of the U.S. where the delta variant is causing numbers of cases to surge.
“We’re not approaching any kind of a threshold for a mask mandate,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, “but, we do have rising numbers with the delta variant so we are just continuing to encourage people to get their vaccines.”
State and local leaders are watching the statistics to decide if any new local recommendations will be needed.
“People who decline to be vaccinated are essentially choosing to be naturally infected with COVID-19 instead,” said Dr. Jennifer Corder, Deputy Health Officer for Garrett and Allegany Counties. “COVID-19 is not going anywhere, and is more easily transmissible than ever before. Choose the safer way to develop immunity, choose to be vaccinated.”
According to the CDC, recent data shows that the delta variant behaves differently, and on rare occasions some vaccinated people may be infected with the variant and may be contagious, allowing them to spread the virus to others.
The CDC also recommends indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors at schools nationwide, regardless of vaccination status, as school systems begin returning to in person learning for the new school year.
There are no changes in the recommended actions for unvaccinated persons. The CDC continues to strongly urge them to get vaccinated as soon as possible, and to continue to masking until they are fully vaccinated.
In addition to the masking changes for fully vaccinated people, the agency also now recommends testing for fully vaccinated people if they have any COVID-19 symptoms or if they were recently exposed to someone who had a suspected or confirmed infection. Fully vaccinated people should isolate if they test positive for the coronavirus or are experiencing symptoms.
For more information visit GarrettHealth.org, or call 301-334-7698.
Free Community Covid Testing
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There were Two (2) new cases reported in Grant County .
• 1,460 Total COVID Cases
• 1184 Confirmed Positive COVID cases
• 273 Probable COVID cases (Probable cases are those that have a positive result from a rapid antigen test).
• 1,423 Total Recovered
• 5 Active Cases
• 28 Deaths listed as COVID related
Pfizer Vaccine available for all age 12 yrs. and older, or Moderna for anyone age 18 or older:
Grant County Health Department
Mt. Storm Health Center for more information on their vaccine availability and dates