COVID updates from Dr. Hall - High community level again | WisCommunity

COVID updates from Dr. Hall - High community level again

July 29, 2022 - 4:05pm
COVID graph
We're HIGH! As expected, Dunn County has now joined Eau Claire county with a HIGH Community Level for COVID. Chippewa is not yet there but headed that way, and several other surrounding counties are also at high.
 
Here's how I'm handling it, in case that's helpful to folks. I did have COVID relatively recently, about two months ago, but that was likely BA.2, not BA.5, so my immune advantage is certainly wearing off. So, I'm still going out and doing things, but if I'm going to a restaurant, it's going to be outside on the patio. I'll be at the Pablo tonight to see a show and will wear a mask. We're driving there with a friend who doesn't live in our home, so we're all going to wear masks in the car. I will wear a mask at work when I'm not in my office by myself. I'm still having a big shindig for my 50th birthday in a few weeks, but it's outside and folks will be welcome to wear masks if they choose.
 
It's different for my teenager, who had Covid only just about one month ago and for whom masking would be a much bigger deal since almost no one his age is wearing them. (His risk of infection is lower and the social-emotional cost of mask-wearing is higher.) I am not asking him to mask up with friends or curtail his activities. That may change as he gets further out from his infection and his immunity wanes, but for now the risk/benefit calculus for him (in my opinion / that I am comfortable with) is such that I want him to feel carefree and enjoy summertime (for now). We also have no major big events that are upcoming which could be interrupted by an infection, and we are all very low-risk medically.
 
Weigh the risks and benefits for your own individual situation. What is your medical risk? Of the folks you are close with? Do you have a big important event coming up? Would you really rather not feel lousy for a week or more? Has it been more than two months since you've had a COVID infection? (These all apply even to those who are fully vaccinated and double boosted - you have protection against hospitalization, but not a lot of protection from infection.)
 
Many people will (and should) start wearing masks again if they weren't already. We don't precisely know yet how severe of an infection BA.5 causes (although so far hospitalizations,, which are increasing along with cases, don't seem to be outpacing other Omicron waves), but I have lots of friends who felt really miserable with it for a good long time and would much rather have avoided it if they could.
 
The timing of this doesn't bode particularly well, as with fall sports starting up soon and then school starting a month from now, we are likely to see a repeat of last year's pattern. So get ready for the long haul, and then you can be pleasantly surprised if we don't get walloped this fall.
 

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Alexandra Hall, MD
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