Transition period not ‘the new normal’ with COVID-19 – The Fort Morgan Times

This is not the “new normal”.

The Northeast Colorado Department of Health released a statement Monday saying that with respect to COVID-19, the recent drop in cases reflects a transition period between the pandemic and the virus becoming endemic. . When this happens, the health department suggests that COVID will be more like the flu in that it will primarily circulate at certain times of the year and may require annual vaccinations.

“During this intermediate phase, there will likely be periods of progress (as we are currently seeing with lower case rates and fewer hospitalizations) towards reversals where our health care system will again be stressed and the recommendations will change. While many precautionary measures, such as masking, may be relaxed by health officials now, expect that they may be reinstated if increases in COVID-19 cases occur,” the report said. communicated.

The number of new cases in northeast Colorado has dropped since the last peak over the holidays, when the omicron variant was circulating widely. In the NCHD’s six-county district, there have been an average of 3.79 new cases per day over the past 14 days, according to data from the NCHD website. In the past week, two residents have been hospitalized with COVID and one has reported a death from the virus. Logan County has seen nine new cases, and Morgan County only five, in the past seven days.

The NCHD statement comes as people prepare to travel for Spring Break and the upcoming summer season.

“It’s good to keep in mind that travel mandates and quarantines will still be in effect for some states and for some international travel, so be sure to check the requirements before you travel. They can also change quickly, so check them often before you go. Researching guidelines and policies for every place you will visit, even stopover airports, would also be a good plan so that you are not caught off guard,” the department says.

The NCHD also noted that while the risk of catching COVID-19 is currently low, it is not zero. Masking “remains an important tool to reduce the risk of infection”, especially for people at high risk of serious illness.

“While many of us are comfortable not wearing masks anymore, masks are still recommended indoors for people with chronic conditions and in high-risk communities. Therefore, be kind and respectful. We cannot know the situations that people face in their personal lives. It is possible that they are immunocompromised or protective of a loved one,” the statement read. Some businesses, such as hospitals and long-term care facilities, may continue to require masks to protect vulnerable people. The NCHD recommends carrying a mask in your wallet or purse to ensure you have one available if you are asked to wear one.

Certain environments also pose an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19, and the health department has advised weighing your comfort level beforehand by considering where you plan to go and avoiding crowded and/or confined spaces. , and close contact environments where people are conversing.

“Risk continues to increase in places or events where these factors overlap,” the statement noted.

Beyond masking, the NCHD advises continuing to follow basic mitigation practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

“First of all, it’s important to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations and get tested if you have symptoms. If you feel sick, stay home, self-isolate, and get treated if necessary, “says the department. “Avoid touching your face. Cover your cough and sneeze with your elbow. Keep your hands clean and wash them often. If possible, keep a distance of at least 6 inches from others and regularly disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The NCHD notes the progress made over the past two years to treat and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Hopefully, future COVID-19 mitigation efforts will be less disruptive as we move towards a ‘new normal’ by combining the proven basics, with new medical developments, such as vaccinations and therapeutic treatments. It is also true that as this virus continues to evolve, public health recommendations will adapt to changing conditions and, as before, the Northeast Colorado Department of Health will continue to share the most relevant to our communities,” he says.

For more information on COVID-19 in Northeast Colorado, visit www.nchd.org.

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