Fourth Wave Continuing with Significant Variation State to State
- In today’s Recommendations for Industry, we discuss TAG’s risk matrix and the current status of COVID-19 transmission. Read More Below.
- The CDC has updated its guidance for “Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home”; there is focus on what to do for:
- Cleaning regularly
- Cleaning and disinfecting the home when someone is sick
- Cleaning and disinfecting bedrooms and bathrooms when someone is sick
- Cleaning and disinfecting different types of surfaces
- COVID-19 cases and new surges are erupting throughout the world; additionally, many locations (and countries) are re-entering lockdowns due to rising cases. To learn more about what’s happening regionally, check out this recent CIDRAP perspective.
- Moderna is aiming to enroll over 200 adults in Seattle to test its new COVID-19 vaccine designed to protect against the B1351 COVID-19 variant.
- Australia and New Zealand are beginning to start quarantine-free travel!
- Following is a little more information on the “double-mutant” COVID-19 variant that was first identified in India and has now also been found in California: The variant has two different mutations, E484Q and L452R, that show similarities to other variants we have seen (except combined)! The former mutation shares a similar mutation to the ones identified in the P1 and B1351 variants in which the spike protein may be mutated; the latter mutation shares similarities with a COVID-19 mutant also identified in California in which the spike protein may bind better to cells, “thereby increasing its infectivity.” More is needed to be studied about this new “double-mutant” COVID-19 variant. Aljazeera breaks down this information here.
Recommendations for Industry
Fourth Wave Continuing with Significant Variation State to State
We are continuing to see a fourth wave of COVID-19 across the US; however, it appears to be flattening in some areas, so we aren’t expecting the type of aggressive increase we’ve seen in past surges in case counts. There are some significant geographical differences in this wave, with high rates in the Northeast and Florida, and exceptionally high rates in Michigan. Driving this surge in cases is likely spring break travel and by the variants which are more transmissible. These surges are affecting younger people more as most states have prioritized vaccines for older people.
What all this means to businesses is that it continues to be important to not only maintain all protections, but also to know what’s going on in the areas in which you have establishments so you are prepared should your operations be affected.
- The Government Stringency Index is 41 this week. It is the same as last week, indicating stability in government stringencies. Five (5) states’ (Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oregon) businesses are in mixed opening stages.
- In Figure 1, this week, we compare the case rate/100K (Table 1) in the population to the percentage of a state’s population that has been vaccinated (with first and second doses) (Figure 1). Table 2 and 3 compare last week and this week’s percentage of states’ populations that have received their first and second vaccinations, respectively.
- Michigan and New Jersey are the only states with a TPR ≥10% and a case rate ≥ 25/100K people, indicating that testing may not be adequate to fully characterize the true severity of the outbreak in the state (Table 4)
- 10 states have a TPR < 10% and a case rate≥ 25/100K people, indicating that adequate testing is likely finding most symptomatic cases of illnesses. This is up from 8 last week. These states are Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont (Table 4).
In Case You Missed It
- In Monday’s Recommendations for Industry, we discuss the vaccine impact on COVID-19 testing and CDC’s new travel guidance for those who are fully [Read More Here]
- The CDC has released new guidelines for travel for fully vaccinated individuals within the U.S.
- With this new guidance, it’s good to remember that in the U.S. a fully vaccinated person is one that has waited two weeks after their second-dose of a 2-dose vaccine (e.g. Pfizer or Moderna) or has waited 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine (e.g. J&J vaccine).
- This week is National Public Health Week. This year’s theme is “Building Bridges to Better Health” to make “communities safe and health is public health’s top priority”.
- According to ESPN, “more than half of Vancouver Canucks' players test positive for COVID-19”.
- Around the world, COVID-19 is resurging and creating new waves. See news from Kenya, India, and/or Europe.
- The “double-mutant” COVID-19 variant first identified in India has now been found in the San Francisco Bay Area (California).
- In last Friday’s Recommendations for Industry, we discuss the US being in the fourth wave of COVID-19. But will it be a ripple or a tsunami? [Read More Here]
- The WHO has released a scientific brief on “Modes of Transmission of virus causing COVID-19: implications for IPC precaution recommendations.” The conclusions of this report find, “Based on the available evidence, including the recent publications mentioned above, WHO continues to recommend droplet and contact precautions for those people caring for COVID-19 patients. WHO continues to recommend airborne precautions for circumstances and settings in which aerosol generating procedures and support treatment are performed, according to risk assessment.”
- Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine delays are forthcoming due to factory mix-up.
- An ongoing Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial has found two things: there is protection for at least six months post 2nd dose vaccination [CNN]; there is potential efficacy against the B1351 COVID-19 variant [NBC News].
- The WHO has criticized vaccine rollout in Europe as being “unacceptably slow.” This, as countries throughout Europe are re-entering another lock-down phase.
- The FDA has released information on the impact of a few COVID-19 tests by SARS-CoV-2 variants. TAG will discuss this more today. There are 4 tests that the FDA has noted as potentially being impacted by the variants.
- New clinical data released by Pfizer-BioNTech has found that their COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective with children aged 12 – 15 years old.
- As more individuals are becoming vaccinated and people are considering storing their vaccination cards for the longer term, before laminating your card, you should:
- Make sure card information is accurate
- Ask where vaccination records are being kept
- Photograph both sides of your vaccination card and email the photos to yourself
- Make a paper photocopy of both sides of your card
- Don’t laminate before you get all your doses!