The CDC has reversed its previous advice and is now recommending that everyone wear a mask indoors regardless of your vaccination status for areas that are seeing a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. The CDC attributes new information coming from a recent unpublished report that viral loads of COVID-19, in particular, the delta variant, are nearly identical in numbers for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. This means that vaccinated individuals can spread the virus to unvaccinated individuals too.
The CDC reminds us that the delta variant is highly transmissible and causes the same symptoms as the novel coronavirus. Those who are vaccinated have a much higher chance of not contracting COVID-19 than the unvaccinated and are less likely to suffer from moderate or severe symptoms. In fact, that vast majority (90% plus) of those being hospitalized or dying as a result of COVID-19 complications are the unvaccinated.
In Riverside County, the COVID-19 positivity rate has gone from less than 2% nearly a month ago to 6.4% today. Our average case rate per 100,000 people has risen to 10.4. If we were in the former Color Tier system, we would be ranked in the Purple Tier (most restrictive) with new cases per 100,000 people and the Red Tier for the percent of positive cases. There are currently 190 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and 47 of those are being treated in the Intensive Care Unit as their conditions are life threatening.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, those who contract COVID-19 with a mild case can be sick for up to two weeks. For severe cases, you can expect to be sick for up to six weeks or more – and there may be lasting damage to your heart, kidneys, lungs and brain.
According to the CDC and leading health experts, your best defense to avoid getting severely ill from COVID-19 and the delta variant is to get the FDA approved vaccines authorized for emergency use. To schedule a vaccination appointment, contact your medical provider or local pharmacy. To schedule an appointment through the Riverside County Department of Health, go to https://www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine or to learn about the safety of the vaccines, go to https://www.rivcoph.org/vaccine-safety or your medical provider. There are no more long lines, wait times, or the need to drive any far distance.
By getting vaccinated, you can significantly reduce your chances of being hospitalized. By getting vaccinated, you can keep your family and community safe. By getting vaccinated, you can help keep our businesses open and the economy growing in California. By wearing a mask indoors, you help slow the COVID-19 spread.