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EASTERN CONNECTICUT HEMATOLOGY & ONCOLOGY ASSOCIATES

Recent Update from the Connecticut Department of Public Health

July 29, 2021

The CDC issued a Health Advisory to notify public health practitioners and the public about the urgent need to increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage. Increasing vaccination coverage is especially urgent in areas where current coverage is low. Unvaccinated persons account for the majority of new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Currently, COVID variants of concern, especially the highly infectious Delta variant, are accelerating the spread of infection. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people should practice all recommended prevention measures until fully vaccinated. In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated individuals wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of Delta and help protect others.    

Connecticut cases are on the rise

COVID-19 case rates are rising in Connecticut. As in-person interactions increase and variants of concern are on the rise, the risk of COVID spread remains, particularly among unvaccinated individuals.

  • Studies indicate that vaccines authorized for use in the United States are effective against this variant after the full course (all doses) of vaccination.
  • The DELTA strain is now the most dominant variant in CT.
  • There is increasing evidence to show that the Delta variant spreads more easily and more quickly than previous variants. Even with the circulation of the Delta variant, only a small proportion of fully vaccinated individuals have breakthrough infections and symptoms tend to be mild.     
  • Preliminary data suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant have higher viral loads than with previous variants. This may mean fully vaccinated individuals infected with the Delta variant might be infectious and can potentially spread the virus to others.   

With the Delta variant circulating, vaccination is more urgent than ever

  • The highest spread of cases and severe outcomes are happening in places with low vaccination rates. 
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
  • A growing body of evidence indicates that people fully vaccinated with one of the two mRNA vaccines are less likely than unvaccinated persons to acquire COVIDor to transmit it to others.
  • The risk for COVID breakthrough infection in fully vaccinated people cannot be completely eliminated as long as there is continued community transmission of the virus.

How to stay safe

To reduce the risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and potentially spreading it to others, CDC now recommends that fully vaccinated people:

  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Isolate if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days
  • Get tested 3-5 days after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until they receive a negative test result

Anyone with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should get a viral test for COVID-19.

Do your part – get vaccinated!

Any one of the three currently available COVID-19 vaccines approved remains our best defense against preventing the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant. If you have not received your vaccine, talk with your healthcare provider.