Greene County Health Department: COVID-19 Update – August 5th, 2021

From the Greene County Health Department:

Don’t run down the clock; get the shot—before you’re exposed to COVID-19! Unvaccinated Hoosiers make-up 98% of COVID-19 cases in Indiana since January 18th, 2021.  The odds of an unvaccinated individual being hospitalized are 1-in-237, while the odds of a fully-vaccinated individual are 1-in-18,795.

The highest spread of cases and severe outcomes is happening in places with low vaccination rates.  COVID-19 vaccines are very effective, but no vaccine is perfect. In some instances, fully-vaccinated people will still get COVID-19 and may be contagious. These are called “vaccine breakthrough cases.” A new CDC study finds that B.1.617.2 (Delta) can lead to breakthrough infections, for example. This means that while vaccinated people are much less likely to get sick, it can and will still happen in some cases.  Much more often, the vaccine is doing what it was designed to do—preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death.

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are once again increasing in nearly all states, fueled by the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, which is much more contagious than past versions of the virus. We are now in the fourth wave of COVID-19 with children now representing 16% of weekly reported cases in Greene County. It is urgent that we adhere to the CDC, State of Indiana, and local recommendations due to the increasing spread of the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant of COVID-19 in Greene County, which is now the number one variant in our communities.

Due to the Delta variant, the CDC has updated its guidance for fully vaccinated people, recommending that everyone wear a mask in indoor public settings in areas of substantial and high transmission, regardless of vaccination status.

Masking recommendation was updated to ensure the vaccinated public would not unknowingly transmit virus to others, including their unvaccinated or immunocompromised loved ones.  Current CDC guidance now includes the following:

  • Added recommendation for fully-vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
  • Added information that fully-vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask, regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immuno-compromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully-vaccinated.
  • Added recommendation for fully vaccinated people who have a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.

CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

Dangers of Delta

1.    Highly transmissible

§  Spreads more than twice as easily from one person to another, compared to earlier strains

§  Secondary infections from breakthroughs: 3:3 people for delta, 1:1 for don-delta

2.    Infectivity

§  Studies show fully vaccinated people can spread delta variant

§  Accounts more breakthrough cases than other strains:  viral load 1000x greater than alpha/B117

3.    Widespread

§  accounts for 91% of sequenced specimens in Indiana

§  responsible for outbreaks in long-term care settings, suspected of other outbreaks in Indiana

§  surged to become the predominant variant –from <1% in May to 83% of cases nationally in July

§  400% increase in cases nationally

§  Especially burdensome on rural health care settings as cases increase

The Greene County Health Officer, Dr. Peter J. Powers, stated, “that these cases are predominately in the unvaccinated.  We encourage vaccination.  Areas of the United States with higher vaccination rates are not seeing their cases rise like they are in areas with lower vaccination rates.  The best way to stop these outbreaks and get back to normal is to have a high-percentage of our community vaccinated.”  Vaccination helps to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

42.6% of Greene County residents are fully-vaccinated, equating to 11,642 individuals fully-vaccinated.

Vaccination as a Percent of County Population 12+ of 27,309 in the zip codes below.

Zip CodeFully VaccinatedPercentage Fully VaccinatedPopulation 12+
47424 – Bloomfield3,57845.3%7,893
47438 – Jasonville1,38538.0%3,648
47441 – Linton3,48744.4%7,849
47443 – Lyons      39434.9%1,130
47449 – Newberry  20257.2%   353
47453 – Owensburg  15024.4%   616
47459 – Solsberry1,37744.9%3,068
47465 – Switz City   23752.1%   455
47471 – Worthington   83236.2%2,297

  All data displayed is preliminary and subject to change as more information is reported to the health department.

  Vaccinations through 08/04/2021.