Virus Expert Just Issued This "Surge" Warning

You may be confused about the danger level of the current coronavirus pandemic: Cases, you may have heard, were going down after the big Delta surge, but now they are staying level, at a too-high 70,000. Meanwhile, kids 5 to 11 are finally being vaccinated while…adults are arguing over mandates. Are you safe? To weigh in, Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, took to Twitter to issue some life-saving advice. Read on for what he had to say—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Virus Expert Says We're Doing Way Better Than Last Year But….

Portrait of nurse and man with face masks

"Quick update on state of pandemic in the US," virus expert Ashish Jha tweeted. "National picture has turned mixed. Bad news: rapid declines in cases has plateaued. Over past 2 weeks, new infections flat at about 75K per day. The good news? Early in November, we're flat. Could be much worse. Could be 2020." He continued: "If we compare same two months to last year, we see a very different picture. Last year at this time, infection numbers were taking off! Doubling every 3 weeks. We were on a steep acceleration. This year, we have the FAR more contagious Delta. Schools are open. And we're flat! You all know why. Nearly 60% of Americans now fully vaccinated. So as the air gets cold and dry. The virus, spreading more efficiently, keeps running into walls of vaccinated people. And can't accelerate." Yet we may see a winter surge—read on.

2

Virus Expert Warns of "Stormy Seasonal Surge"

woman drinking punch on christmas market wearing medicine mask.

"Winter is coming. USA has plateaued or 'idled'" epidemiologist Lawrence "Larry" Brilliant wrote, using Katelyn Jetelina as his source, in response to Jha."Some state responses are 'idle' as well. Until kids get vaccinated, adults get boosted, +new COVID pills get delivered, expect a stormy seasonal surge. Europe's exponential case counts may be harbinger for us." Read on to see where in the US the virus is surging.

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3

These Areas are in Trouble

Downtown of Minneapolis.Minnesota

"Nationally…the South has really cooled off. And it's the Midwest and great plains states that have high infection rates. This really shows up when you look at individual state-level data. If you look at the 14 states with the highest new infections per capita, you can see that most are in the colder parts of the country." Topping the list is Alaska, followed by Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. "And the top 5 all have below average vaccination rates. And highly vaxxed states seeing outbreaks in less vaccinated communities of those states."

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4

So How to Move Forward?

Female Doctor hands holding vaccine bottle and syringe.

"So here's how to think about it," tweeted Jha. "The weather is getting colder. People heading indoors. Social interactions increasing. Last year, this meant the virus took off! This year, we have a way worse variant (Delta). But lots of folks vaxxed. And so we're in a stalemate. Over next couple of months, as we go into the holidays. Social interactions will push infections up more. But if we can get:

  • More adults vaccinated
  • Kids vaccinated
  • Folks boosted
  • Ubiquitous testing
  • Masking in high risk situations

We can definitely avoid another winter surge."

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5

How to Stay Safe Out There

Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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