Rising COVID cases and higher hospitalizations raise community level to medium

The CDC’s local community level went from low to medium due to the “recent increase in COVID-19 cases in our community,” the Tompkins County Health Department said, “associated with a number of hospitalizations higher”.

“TCHD urges caution, especially for those most at risk of severe illness,” the Department of Health said in a statement, and “encourages community members to be proactive in wearing high-quality masks. when indoors and to consider personal risk when congregating with others.”

“We anticipated that we could see a spike in new cases this fall, similar to 2020 and 2021,” Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa said. “The community should keep in mind that COVID-19 and influenza are circulating at this time of year. We can improve our personal safety by keeping up to date with vaccinations, wearing high-quality masks, and staying home when sick. If you are not yet vaccinated or have not received your booster, please contact your health care provider or local pharmacy to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“Anyone aged 12 and over who completed their initial round of vaccinations at least two months ago is eligible to receive a bivalent recall“, says the Ministry of Health. “Bivalent boosters add Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components to the current composition of the vaccine. This addition makes it possible to restore protection which has diminished since the previous vaccination by targeting more transmissible variants which escape the immune system.

“Receiving an updated booster dose will increase your protection against current variants, reducing disease severity if infected,” they add. “Boosters are available at pharmacies and through healthcare providers. Search online at vaccines.gov or call 211 for assistance.

“We have reported several deaths caused by COVID-19 in recent weeks,” says TCHD’s Kruppa, “serving as a grim reminder that protecting the most vulnerable members of our community, the elderly and the immunocompromised, is a role we all play and continue to work together to reduce the spread of this disease in our community.

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