August 3, 2021
COMMUNITY COVID-19/DELTA VARIANT UPDATE
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It’s been quite a while since I issued the last Community Update on the COVID pandemic, anticipating it would be the last. However, as you may know from recent news reports, there is some cause for concern about the spread of the so-called Delta Cov-2 variant, and it would be irresponsible of me if I did not share that information with our community.
Simply put, as good as things have been going, the rate of infection in Bethel is climbing again. In the past few months, we’ve seen the weekly COVID infection rate drop to a low of 0.2%, but recently began climbing back, to 0.5%, then 0.9% and is now up to 1.2%. This is far better than where we were last year, but the direction it’s headed is concerning.
Here is what is known about the Delta variant:
- It is more transmissible (meaning easier to catch) than the common cold or flu. It spreads twice as easily compared with earlier strains of the virus.
- The variant is prevalent in our area.
- Current COVID vaccines are highly effective against the variant.
- Nearly all new COVID cases that result in severe symptoms or deaths are among unvaccinated people.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY
The Centers for Disease Control and Connecticut Department of Public Health are recommending two basic steps to reduce the risk of a COVID infection:
- Wear a mask when indoors in any part of the state that is experiencing “substantial” to “high” rates of infection, even if you are fully vaccinated (note: the transmission level in Fairfield County was recently elevated from “moderate” to “substantial”).Vaccinated people are very unlikely to catch the virus, but it is possible that vaccinated people can carry the bug without symptoms and spread it unknowingly to family members who are not vaccinated.
- Get the vaccine. Billions of US tax dollars have been spent on an accelerated and highly successful vaccine development and testing program. Vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective, and they are still completely free of charge. We are well aware that this may be a touchy subject for some. Nonetheless, it is very clear that your chances of becoming severely ill or dying of COVID are reduced to almost zero when fully vaccinated. If you have any concerns, we urge you to speak with your doctor. For information on where you can get the vaccine, click here: https://portal.ct.gov/vaccine-portal/summer?language=en_US
VISTING TOWN HALL
The Clifford J. Hurgin Municipal Center is fully open and following all CDC and public health guidelines, as follows:
- Use of a face covering is MANDATORY for all UNVACCINATED visitors.
- Face coverings are OPTIONAL for all FULLY VACCINATED individuals. However, fully vaccinated visitors are encouraged to continue to wear a face mask when indoors for the reasons outlined above.
For more information on COVID and the Delta variant, please click here to see the most recent research information from the Yale School of Medicine.
Thanks for reading. Please take care.
- Matt Knickerbocker