March 5, 2021
Dear RVU Family:
The number of positive confirmed cases of COVID in the US is stabilizing due to the increased availability of vaccines. Positive cases increased 1.83% nationally from last week. Colorado cases increased 1.40% and cases in Utah were up a mere .53%. With the advent of spring break, we ask that everyone continue to take precautions and be extra vigilant, especially given the additional variants circulating which are thought to be more transmissible.
Updates and information for this week include:
Vaccine Update: Today Colorado is moving to the next phase in their vaccination plan (Phase 1B.3) includes those 60+, frontline essential workers such as those working in grocery stores and agricultural processing, along with people age 16-59 with two or more qualifying illnesses or situations. The next phase is expected to go into effect around March 21 and will include other frontline essential workers including those working in higher education. Additional information regarding the distribution of vaccines in Colorado can be found here. To schedule an appointment at the health center, please visit their website at www.rockyvistahc.com (please note that appointments will only be available upon receipt of confirmed shipments for the following week.)
No revised updates are available for the distribution of vaccines in Utah. It is estimated that other age groups will be eligible in April. We will communicate updated information as it becomes available. Additional information regarding the distribution of vaccines in Utah can be found here.
Mask Fitting: Good Mask Fit Improves Performance. A well-fitted cloth over a medical procedure mask, or a knotted and tucked procedure mask reduces exposure to potentially infectious aerosols by 95%. Experiments were conducted by the CDC with two dummies in a 10 by 10 room simulating a person with infection, and a person exposed to infectious aerosols. When both dummies were wearing a cloth over medical procedure masks or knotted and tucked procedure masks the exposure was reduced by 96.4% and 95.9% respectively. Universal masking, physical distancing, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, and good hand hygiene will protect our community until herd immunity is reached. source
Vaccine Hesitancy: According to a recent report published by the CDC, there are still 32% of Americans who do not intend to get a COVID-19 vaccine. That number is slowly improving over time but not near what we in the healthcare community had hoped. Overcoming this vaccine hesitancy will help hasten our ability to achieve ‘herd immunity’. Over 30 million vaccine doses have been given so far and both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines appear to be safe and effective. The one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be available as early as next week in Colorado and Utah (maybe several weeks before it is available at the Rocky Vista Health Center). Although they report less efficacy, do not let that sway you. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine virtually eliminated severe disease and death when people were infected. This is similar to the current Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Each of these vaccines does their job, so it is recommended when your name gets called, go and get any of these vaccines. source
Stay safe and have an enjoyable spring break!
The Covid-19 Response Team