COVID Update from Dr. Hall 12/13/2021 | WisCommunity

COVID Update from Dr. Hall 12/13/2021

December 13, 2021 - 2:36pm
Data update for Dunn County - continued high cases, perhaps slaking a bit but hard to say given the data anomalies due to Thanksgiving and WEDSS being down for several days. We shall see. It's still really high.
 
Continued high hospitalizations, and our hospitals are really in crisis. You can't see it if you don't work there or aren't a patient in need of a bed, but nurses and other staff are working extra shifts with no end in sight and still patients wait hours to days in ERs until a bed opens up for them somewhere, often many miles away. This is not good care, and it's frustrating and morally exhausting for the providers for to know that patients aren't getting what they need. Patients are often hostile as well. In fact, the VA is instituting a new required training for its providers on how to handle abuse and harassment from patients. Our hospital workers are getting pummeled. And influenza cases are rising, which will put even more pressure on them.
 
The number and percentage of cases in the 0-19 group has really declined in the past few weeks. Likely some of that is due to the schools being closed for the entirety of Thanksgiving week. The mask requirement for K-6 in Menomonie has ended as of today, so we shall see what happens there.
 
Omicron is on its way. Cornell University, where I used to work, just had an explosion of over 300 cases in two days, and 97% of their students are fully vaccinated (but not necessarily boosted). Many anecdotal case reports are showing that vaccination, and even booster doses, don't seem to be protective against infection, although so far almost all cases in vaccinated folks have been quite mild. Concerningly, Omicron attack rates seem to be very high at 50-90% (i.e. 50-90% of the people at an event / exposed end up infected - typical for Delta was 20-50%).
 
Population and lab studies do show boosted people have protection against infection but un-boosted or previously infected (naturally immune) folks do not seem to have much if any. Only about 10% of the population is boosted, so we have an EXCESSIVELY large pool of vulnerable hosts to Omicron when it arrives here. We don't yet know how severe that illness will be.
 
Please do what you can to support your hospital workers. Please get vaccinated and boosted, and get your flu shot, too. Wear a mask and maintain distance. What you do does make a difference.
Alexandra Hall, MD
Become A Member Button

Follow WisCommunity on:

randomness