COVID-19 UPDATE

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022 | "Transformed Lives Transform Lives"
 
Last week our country faced a particularly sobering moment when the number of CoVID-19-related deaths in the United States reached one million. Globally, the number of deaths is estimated at 15 million. The grief that persists among the unknown number of people impacted by the loss of these many millions of individuals is unimaginable. 
 
To assist local churches in their on-going efforts to prioritize life and people's well-being, Ella P. Curry, PhD, MTS, RN, offers these important updates:
  • As CoVID-19 infections and hospitalizations continue to rise, one third of Americans now live in Medium or High Risk communities. Within our two Conferences, two Delaware counties are High Risk: Kent and Sussex. New Castle is Medium Risk. Maryland has six Medium Risk counties: Montgomery, Howard, Kent, Wicomico, Somerset, and Worcester, plus Baltimore City. In West Virginia’s eastern panhandle, Jefferson is the county at Medium Risk.
     
  • At the May 18 White House CoVID-19 briefing, administration officials urged people who live in high risk areas to resume precautions such as masking in indoor public spaces. The CDC continues to recommend masks on airlines and all public transportation as the active Omicron BA2 subvariants are many times more transmissible than prior variants.
     
  • The White House team advised that surges are possible this summer and/or fall. They are closely monitoring the next six weeks as travel increases, and relaxation of public health measures continues in many states.
     
  • In preparation for possible surges, the government announced on May 16th that households may order up to eight more free home antigen testing kits via the website covid.gov/tests
     
  • Earlier this week the FDA authorized a coronavirus booster injection for children ages 5-11. CDC vaccine advisors are expected to recommend the Pfizer-BioNTech booster for this age group on May 20. The FDA continues to review extensive research data for the Moderna vaccine for children ages 2-5.
     
  • Those who are unvaccinated, immune-compromised, or ineligible to receive vaccines continue to be at highest risk for infection. Contact your medical provider or go to https://covid-19-test-to-treat-locator-dhhs.hub.arcgis.com/ regarding potential treatment if you test positive.
     
  • Anyone may choose to wear a mask in any situation that they consider potentially risky. Select the highest quality mask that is affordable and may be worn comfortably over both the nose and mouth. Properly fitted N-95 masks provide the best protection.
     
  • Create work, church, home, and social environments in which all who choose to mask feel welcomed and included.