Understanding Delta: COVID cases on the decline in the U.S., though variants still very much a threat

Date: September 14, 2021 | By: G. Ellsworth Harris, CEO, AMS Infection Prevention Partners

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s (IHME) daily update on COVID-19 infection rates show some promising news in that it seems to demonstrate a slowing of infections across the country.
 

There is a peak on Aug. 23 of 411,064 infections, which declines slightly to 379,968 on Sept. 8. An overall reduction to 291,217 infections is predicted by Dec. 1 (see healthdata.org for updated predictions). While the trend indicates an overall reduction in cases, it does not come close to the lowest -- 60,568 cases -- earlier this year on June 7. 

 

Our nursing home partners are experiencing the Delta variant first-hand in almost every geographic region we presently serve. We have been experiencing an increase in questions related to Delta and COVID's other variants as well. The unvaccinated present the largest risk, but even the vaccinated residents and staff are contracting Delta. 

 

I did! I am vaccinated, healthy, practice the appropriate safety protocols... and still contracted Delta recently. In our nursing homes, we hear similar stories and questions daily. We are asked, "why is Delta different? Are there other precautions we should be taking?"  Additionally, residents and their families are scared and have even more questions and concerns than ever. 

 

Our Chief Infection Prevention and Control Officer, Heather Hutson, recently worked with her team of infection preventionists and created two “quick read” flyers that explains Delta: its increased risks and additional precautions we all should take. She generated a flyer for nursing home staff and another specific for the residents and their families. If you would like to receive a copy of them to pass along to your great teams and families, you can request them here and Heather will be happy to share them to you.

 

Next week we are also releasing our flyer on the flu: its symptoms, how it’s different than COVID-19, and helping us all understand its growing concern this fall. If you wish to receive this flyer too, let us know.

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