As prices on everything from eggs to gasoline skyrocket due to inflation, other major issues have understandably faded out of focus.
One issue that won’t disappear entirely, though, is COVID-19. Cases are on the rise nationally, again, and many virologists expect the spike in to continue into the summer months.
Although Cass County and the surrounding areas have not seen any significant spikes, COVID-19 cases in Indiana are on the rise. New cases in the state fell to below 300 a day in March according to the Centers for Disease Control, but have slowly risen since, and the most recent 7-day rolling average is 2,800.
Most of the population is tired of thinking and talking about COVID-19 as we move into the third year of the pandemic, but the threat remains. Breakthrough cases are accounting for almost half of the new cases as vaccines wear off and variants evolve causing vaccines to become less effective. Vaccines still show significant protection against hospitalization and death, according to the CDC.
Restrictions and emergency orders across the country have expired as society has basically returned to pre-pandemic norms, but there are still basic actions the individual can take to protect themselves.
With no federal or state guidelines in place, here is a reminder of some basic tips to follow to help prevent contracting the disease:
Get vaccinated – Current figures by the CDC suggest vaccines offer 30 to 40 percent protection against infection, a 70 percent protection against hospitalization without boosters and a 90 percent protection against hospitalization with boosters.
Stay 6 feet away from others – There’s no need to carry a tape measure around, but try to keep a decent amount of space between yourself and others when in public spaces.
Avoid poorly ventilated spaces and crowds – Go to the concert or game at your own risk, but just know the risks going in. Large crowds in tight spaces are credited as the most common spreader of the disease.
Test to prevent spread to others – Although tests are no longer required for most activities or gatherings, it never hurts to make sure you are clear. Home tests are helpful but lab tests are the most accurate.
Wash your hands – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Clean and disinfect – Use sanitizer and clean surfaces at home regularly. Keep some sanitizer in your vehicle for after you pump gas, go to a store, etc.