It’s been five weeks since COVID-19 patients in Oregon skyrocketed. Fifteen counties will come under new social restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.
Here’s everything you need to know about the coronavirus strains that are causing the infection, the new limitations, the improved guidelines for both vaccinated and unvaccinated, and the science behind it.
Much of Oregon is subject to new social restrictions that took effect Friday, and the CDC released new guidelines. What is the science behind them?
Restaurant closure and indoor dining:
Eating in the house is one of COVID-19’s most dangerous activities. When you eat food inside, take off the mask. And depending on the airflow in the room, tiny water droplets and viruses can remain in the air for a long time, said Chun Huij, director of the Oregon State University’s Center for Global Health.
To increase the maximum number of outdoor diners from 50 to 100 per establishment:
“Since the outbreak, evidence has shown that this virus is extremely difficult to spread outside,” Kai said. Fences, tents, and roofs can increase the chances of spreading the virus, and it’s important to wear a mask when you’re not eating or drinking.
Related: Rising COVID-19 hospitalizations are raising new restrictions in many Oregon states.
Capacity limits at gyms, swimming pools, and other indoor sports facilities:
“When you exercise, your metabolism goes a lot faster,” Kai said.
Capacity limits at outdoor pools and other outdoor sports facilities:
On the other hand, playing sports outside is safer than playing it indoors. But sports are still at high risk.
“For sports that require very close contact, the mask is very important. Even if it’s outdoors, ”Kai said, it’s important that the audience stay apart. Just like running, cheering for your favorite team leads to a lot of viruses.
The most dangerous activities are prayer, shouting, singing, exercising and playing the wind instrument. Wearing a mask and going outside makes it safer.
“Last year, I was following up with protests in the Portland area,” Kai said.
The CDC recently introduced new vaccination and nonvaccinated guidelines. In other states, it can mean big changes. But in Oregon, where public spaces are open to the epidemic, haven’t changed much. If you’re in the home, in most cases, the CDC recommends everyone wear a mask. If you are outdoors and not crowded, you may not need a mask. More detailed information can be found on the CDC chart here.
Cases are on the decline in the US, so why are they happening here?
This is hard to say. There are a number of factors that could arise.
For most outbreaks, the prevalence of COVID-19 in Oregon is low compared to other states, meaning that fewer unvaccinated Oregon residents are immune to the COVID virus. -19 To some extent, simply put, there may be more and more people here to become infected.
Weather is another possibility.
“It’s April. People get spring fever and want to get out, ”says Brett Tyler. Tyler is the principal investigator of Oregon State University’s TRACE program and director of the OSU TRACE Center for Genome and Biomedical Computing. A randomized study was conducted to assess the prevalence of COVID-19 in various Oregon communities since the beginning of the epidemic month.
But there is another possibility, and it is also one that tracks TRACE: a different and more infectious strain of COVID-19.
What version of the virus is making Oregon people sick now?
When the United States first documented a new epidemic of COVID-19, Oregon was quite spared. While patients in the East Coast and in the Midwest have skyrocketed due to the first outbreak of B.1.1.7 in the UK. But the West has seen a pattern of its own. The two California strains B.1.427 and B.1.429 were only slightly more infectious than the original virus.
But in March that started to change. And by the first week of April, B.1.1.7 had become the most common coronavirus in Oregon.
“The fractions in the Oregon sequence case reported a sharp increase for B.1.1.7,” Tyler said. “It’s up from 10%. [of cases sequenced in Oregon] Is 60% from March 14 to April. “
It’s not clear what caused B.1.1.7 to drop off so quickly. It is one of the most contiguous COVID-19 strains found. It’s also possible, Tyler said, that the spring trip could trigger more B.1.1.7 cases in Oregon. April’s information is still coming in.
The good news: All vaccines available in the United States are very effective against other B.1.1.7 strains such as P1, first discovered in Brazil, and B.1.351, first detected in South Africa, appear to be slightly better at Get vaccinated But much less common
“They’re both here, accounting for 2 to 6% of the cases, but not a huge increase,” Tyler said, because the vaccine may not be as effective. “We’re keeping a close eye on it.”
Who is sick?
In Oregon and across the country, hospitals have seen big changes in the type of patients they’re treating. Throughout the pandemic, the most severe cases of COVID-19 were in the elderly and those with underlying disease.
The vast majority of people in these groups are fully vaccinated, so they are less likely to become infected with COVID-19.Ideally, this means that hospitals are less likely to find them, as younger adults are more likely to become infected. severe
But that has changed in the past few weeks. In Oregon, more young people are seriously ill from COVID-19.
“In the past few weeks, we are taking care of an increasing number of COVID-infected patients. (Intensive Care Unit) with a younger, non-comedogenic illness, ”said Dr. Renee Edwards, chief medical officer at the University of Oregon Health & Science meeting April 23.
The idea that B.1.1.7 and other species may be behind these severe cases in young and healthy adults is supported by anecdotes from around the world. Michigan is also seeing an intensive care unit full of young patients, just like the UK at the end of last year.
Now, B.1.1.7 and another variant are involved in the outbreak in India.
“The current coronavirus has a different clinical behavior,” Dr. Sujay Chad, senior cardiologist at Sir Gongaram Hospital in India, told the New York Times. It affects the family It is completely new. A two-month-old baby is infected “
What is the latest research on vaccine efficacy?
These vaccines work The vaccine is best, in addition to never exposure, to prevent hospitalization from COVID-19, and although some vaccines are less effective in some strains. But it also makes you less likely to be hospitalized or killed.
A study published Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that adults older than 65 who received either Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine were 94 percent less likely to be hospitalized when. Compared to those who were not vaccinated at the same age
It also appears that people who were vaccinated against COVID-19 were significantly less likely to spread the disease.
Is one shot enough? Can I get only half the vaccine?
One shot provides some protection, so once you get it, it’s easier to breathe. But you can’t disappoint your guard, the same CDC study found that a single vaccination made adults just 64% less likely to be hospitalized.
Why do I need to stay away if I am vaccinated?
It’s important to adhere to social exclusion guidelines if you’ve been vaccinated, Tyler says. It is even more important if you have only received half of the vaccine
“Think about it, if you don’t take a full course of antibiotics, how can you develop antibiotic-resistant bacteria?”
There are many viruses circulating in Oregon right now. About a quarter of the states were fully vaccinated and only received the same dose once. This means that the chances of a suitable virus from finding the right vulnerability are quite high. The virus that was successfully spread among people who received a single injection eventually managed to spread better in people who received both doses. With our social aloofness now, we are reducing the likelihood of developing vaccine-resistant coronavirus strains.
When can I be close to other people?
It is possible to catch COVID-19 for the first few days after being shot and when you get shot. Even if your immune system is fully healthy in just a few days, the CDC recommends waiting at least two weeks before it’s considered ‘safe’.
Tyler advises proceeding, “We’ve seen some cases where people test positive after two weeks. But they were caught ten days earlier. ”That would be before they fully developed their immunity.
So if you can wait a few days before re-entering your society, do it.