Where There’s (COVID) Smoke…

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Recommendations for Industry

Where There's (COVID) Smoke…

TAG’s weekly matrix is showing some fairly steady trends. However, in most states, we are only seeing case rates as being flat or slightly increasing; we are no longer seeing much decline – likely due to the increased cases of the Delta variant. At the same time, we are seeing the rate of new vaccinations slow, the closure of mass vaccination sites, and other signs of general reductions in COVID protections.

With all this, it is likely that businesses are beginning to find some workers reluctant to continue masking in the workplace when it is not being required elsewhere. However, neither CDC, OSHA, nor other federal agencies have backed off on their recommendations, advising that the unvaccinated continue to mask and maintain distance. TAG recommends that businesses continue to implement protections as needed and encourage or incentivize workers to be vaccinated – while working to find a balance between lifting workplace restrictions while continuing to protect workers. As our matrix shows, we’re doing okay, but we are still seeing some smoldering ashes and wisps of smoke, so we need to be sure that if things flare up, we are ready to react.

Risk Matrix

TAG’s Matrix is showing:

    • The Government Stringency Index is 23 this week. This is up from 22 last week, indicating a slight increase in government stringencies.
    • 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 fully vaccinated (Table 2). Table 3 compares the previous week’s percentage of states’ populations that have become fully vaccinated full dose (and the rate of change between the last week and this week).
    • As with last week, no states have a TPR ≥ 10% or TPR <10% and a case rate ≥25/100K people! However, vaccination rates are decreasing which can be problematic, especially as the Delta-variant cases are increasing in lower vaccination rate populations.

Table 1.

Figure 1.

Table 2.

Table 3.

In Case You Missed It

Public Health and Food Safety:

  • Food Safety News reports that the confirmed number of Salmonella infections from backyard chicken flocks now stands at 474 people; sickened individuals live in 46 states with 1/3 of patients younger than 5 years old.