The Lyons Recorder stopped doing monthly COVID-reports when there was a big drop in cases. We saw a light at the end of the tunnel, and dozens of activities popped up around the Front Range, including in Lyons. Now the Delta variant has dimmed that light, as it has caused a new, albeit milder pandemic across the world. In my “Notes from Your Editor” column, I put weekly COVID-NEWS, and some major events around the world, but focusing on Colorado. Plus the latest statistics on number of CO vaccinations, and positivity rates for the week. Since some of our readers do not read the column, I am creating a separate article with the most important of those facts listed here, for easy reference. ………..from Your Editor
LATEST DEVELOPENTS AS OF MID-AUGUST
Pregnant Women: 8/2/21 – After studying the situation over the past year, ACOG now has enough data and strongly recommends that pregnant women get the COVID vaccine — in any trimester and/or who are breastfeeding. They are at high risk.
Booster Shots: 8/13/21 The CDC is recommending booster shots for those who are immune-compromised. It is estimated that seven million American adults are classified as immune-compromised. They did not define what they covers; but the FDA did single out transplant recipients and others with similar levels of immune suppression. This might include those with blood cancers, those taking certain cancer chemotherapies, and those taking certain medications such as rituximab for rheumatoid arthritis. They generally have poor responses to vaccination. The CDC cited one study suggesting about 40% to 44% of people hospitalized for so-called “breakthrough cases” (covid infection despite a vaccination) are among the immune-compromised.
What about the general population? U.S. health authorities insisted in July that it was not yet time.
“We believe sooner or later you will need a booster for durability of protection” …but not yet… according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, this week. COVID-19 booster shots were first introduced last December.
Officials are expected to recommend booster shots for everyone next week 8/23/21. This would mean: a third dose of vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech -or- Moderna, -or- a second dose of Johnson & Johnson (which are the three approved vaccines in the U.S.)
Schools: Just a couple weeks before schools opened, we finally got notice that our Lyons schools will require masks for everyone indoors. They are following Boulder County guidelines.
See the St. Vrain Valley School District Superintendent’s letter describing the situation, and what his decision was based on.
Gov. Polis is leaving it up to the individual districts for now. He said that the priority is keeping the kids in the classroom. A return to full home schooling would only happen in an emergency situation. (8/13/21)
Facts on Kids and Vaccines:
There are approximately 48 million children under the age of 12. There are 7.1 million kids between the ages of 12-17 who are fully vaccinated.
Kids are less likely to contact the virus, and to be hospitalized, according to the CDC. 1,100 out of 90,000 kids contracted it from approximately July 16 to July 30. Five times as many are now sick as were at the end of June.
The CDC States: Children 12 years and older are able to get (only) the Pfizer (BioNTech) COVID-19 Vaccine. Children between the ages of 2 and 12 should wear a mask in public spaces and around people they don’t live with.
Vaccine for Kids Under 12 years of age: 8/11/21 – US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said the FDA will “move fast” to evaluate data from vaccine companies once it’s ready. It is possible a Covid-19 vaccine will be available for kids under the age of 12 before the end of 2021. Early predictions had it becoming available in September, but that does not look feasible at this time.
Nursing Homes: the state is moving on making all staff get vaccinated. All residents and visitors must wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status; and new testing rules established: 8/4/21
State, city, federal workers: President Biden announced that all federal employees and on-site contractors will have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus // Denver Mayor Michael Hancock required city employees, health care workers and school personnel to get vaccinated by Sept. 30. // Gov. Polis required state employees to either get vaccinated by Sept. 20. == Most state medical and religious exemptions allowed; and the alternative being subjected to twice-weekly coronavirus testing. == TSA has extended the about to expire mandates for masks and social distancing for its workers, airport staff, and travellers while in the airport. The federal government is maintaining the mandates for masks in airplanes, trains and buses (public transportation).
Breakthrough cases: These are situations where someone has been vaccinated but still got the virus. So far, those who were effected developed milder cases, and most do not require hospitalization. They make up as few as 0.1 percent of cases. Out of that number, only five percent were hospitalized.
Many event centers, theaters and more are requiring proof of vaccinations, or recent covid-testing results. The largest group in Colorado is giving people till October to get it done. However, some artists are making their own demands that ticket holders wear masks; in which case the theater allows them to sell back their ticket. Lyons’ Planet Bluegrass will be requiring that for its September (and later) concerts.
As of August 13 — 210 countries and territories have confirmed cases. It has infected over 206 million people worldwide; with deaths reaching 4.3 million. The most severely affected countries are #1 US, #2 Brazil, and #3 India.
Canada is lifting its border restrictions. The border into Canada opened August 9 for vaccinated Americans who want to cross for nonessential reasons. Read the new rules carefully, as it may take some time to comply. U.S. citizens and legal residents must be both fully vaccinated and test negative for COVID-19 within three days to get across
On the other hand, the U.S. has said it will extend its closure to all Canadians making nonessential trips until at least Aug. 21. The Biden administration is hinting at making a phased reopening. As of 8/9/21, the CDC has issued a Level 2 travel risk notice, which is low. See the US government web page for more details.
The dual border closings have effected the supply chain, too; eg, the cost of lumber has gone up 75 percent.
Mexico Border: closed by U.S. till at least August 21.
Under “Travel Advisories,” the US advises Americans to not travel to Mexico due to COVID risks.
The United States and Mexico entered a joint initiative March 21, 2020, restricting non-essential travel along the U.S.-Mexico land border to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Non-essential travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. The restrictions are in place until at least August 21, 2021.
For information from the US government on: “Travel Abroad”
For CDC info on: Entry back into the US for citizens
7/29/21 – Get Vaccinated; get a free $100 Wal Mart gift card. Find a location. — while supplies last — you must follow the rules.
COLORADO COVID-19 VACCINE HOTLINE 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926)
United States STATISTICS
As of 8/10/21
The US has surpassed the number of cases reached last year during the summer “high”
It was averaging 15,000/day in June; then mid-July 2020 were 60, 446 and early-August it is 178,466 day.
Only the peak in October-through-January surpassed these numbers.
Of those eligible for a vaccine:
2nd dose administered / fully vaccinated
167,105,507 (50.3%) = up from 165,334,987 last week
1st dose administered
196,077,952 (59.1%) = up from 192,614,017 last week
CO has reached 71.77% vaccinated one dose. 65.42% of eligible people FULLY vaccinated.
On 7/25/21 100% of the new cases are the Delta variant
State of Colorado: 6,645,579 TOTAL administered
as of 8/2/21 – 3,379.501 one dose, and
3,099,180 fully vaccinated (up from 7/27/21–3,073,971 fully vaccinated)
70.77% at least one dose
64.79% full coverage
586,562 total cases — up from 579,366 cases
7,268 deaths due to COVID
State Positivity rate 4.61%
State 7-day positivity rate 5.58% (up from 4.83%)
Boulder County –
vaccinated: as of 8/7/21==the latest date on their web page== 75% fully / 80% (up from 74%) one dose
– 7 day positivity rate 3.8% — This has been on an upward climb SINCE JUNE 17th, but steady this week
vaccinated: as of 8/12/21 – 61.2% one dose / 57.5% FULLY , up from 57%
– 7 day positivity rate 7.2% (up from 5.4%; up from 4.8%; up from 2.6%) – This has been on an upward climb SINCE JUNE 20th
To get current statistics, see our weekly “NOTES from Your EDITOR” column.
COLORADO COVID-19 VACCINE HOTLINE 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926)