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Pima County currently strongly recommends wearing a mask indoors due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.Local news articles

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Changes will be made after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Updated masking guidance On July 27, even vaccinated people are advised to wear masks indoors in communities with “substantial” or “high” levels of viral infection.

In fact, this means that counties reporting more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people in 7 days, or more than 8% of test results are positive for infection during the same period.The majority of Southern, Midwest, Western counties It is now in that category, and as of July 19, Pima County is no different.

Governor Doug Ducey continues to stick to Mask’s duty, In the statement Nothing will change at the Arizona state level on Tuesday.

The new guideline is a departure from the CDC’s position since May that fully vaccinated people can go without masks in most indoor spaces.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said this change occurred as national immunization rates declined and the spread of highly contagious delta mutants accelerated.

Although vaccinated people are less likely to experience severe COVID-19 symptoms, some vaccinated people can become infected and infect others, according to Warensky. Authorities were also persuaded by new data suggesting that there was.

“As you may remember, until very recently, there was a belief that if you were vaccinated and infected with COVID, your ability to infect others with the virus would be negligible,” Karen said Wednesday. Said to. “It is currently changing based on increasing scientific evidence.”

Karen said that “breakthrough infections” that cause vaccinated individuals to become ill with COVID-19 account for only about 0.1% of cases in Pima County, but the prevalence of delta mutations is increasing. Stated.

On June 12, the Department of Health reported that there was only one confirmed delta mutation in Pima County. On July 17, that number increased to 41 cases identified in the region, with only 12% of all cases sequenced in the lab, and Karen could “at least double” that number. Said.






Sending CDC counties until 07/26

The CDC COVID-19 database shows the level of community infection by county from July 20, 2021 to July 26, 2021. Nearly 50% of all counties in the United States report more than 100 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants during that period (red).




School and COVID-19

The Pima County Health Department has also worked with the CDC to strongly recommend that all teachers, staff, students and visitors from kindergarten to high school wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

“When we go back and do face-to-face (school education), this is what we want, but we are very supportive of this. Masking is a vehicle and tool that brothers can use. It’s the only one that exists. Parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, and districts help reduce other outbreaks, “Karen said.

Between July 2020 and July 2021, about 4% of all coronavirus cases in Pima County were reported in the kindergarten to high school age group, according to Karen. This year, the Ministry of Health estimates that 5-10 percent of all cases of COVID-19 will occur in schools.

According to Karen, the Ministry of Health has already seen 56 cases of COVID-19 in schools since July 20, even before most schools returned to the classroom this fall, with an additional 10 by the end of Wednesday. We plan to add more cases.

According to Karen, most cases have already occurred in the school district during the session and have originated from “activities known to endanger students from kindergarten to high school” such as football, cheerleaders and freshman orientation. increase.

To help schools track and contain potential outbreaks, the Pima County Health Department will continue to track reported cases and ask schools to consider “cohorting” with students to prevent the spread of the virus. I recommend it.

Karen explained that it is the department’s responsibility to assess vaccination status, conduct contact tracing investigations, and make quarantine or quarantine recommendations as needed.

“We are aware of what the governor has said and believe that our approach to this removes school responsibility,” Karen said.

According to CDC dataThe overall immunization rate in Pima County is currently 52.4%, but Karen says this is “not a place where it is needed.”

In the county, cases of COVID-19 have increased by 12.3% in the last 7 days. If this increase continues, Pima County can reach “high” levels of infection. This is a 7-day moving average of 100 per 100,000 people.

“The reason we don’t distinguish between children, adults and the elderly in this number is because of the belief that it’s happening throughout the community,” says Karen. “Therefore, it’s important to note that because of the school-based case, it can have a very significant impact on the community,” she said.

Mary Glen Hatcher | 520-547-9740

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