The Panhandle COVID risk dial is informed on the latest science available and updated accordingly. Guidance, counties, and communities will be updated at www.pphd.org in the next few days. Updates include the following:
• Testing – access and turnaround time (if the result is back within 48 hours)
• Case rate – will change to a 7-day rolling average per day per 100,000
• ICU bed availability – will shift to hospital beds with a COVID patient, not ICU beds individually
• Deaths - new deaths per week, this is a new indicator being added
• Overall Panhandle vaccination rate - this is a new indicator being added
After a temporary pause, CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID Vaccine resume in the United States. A review of all available data at this time shows that the J&J/Janssen COVID vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks.
Women under 50 years old should be aware of the rare but increased risk of the adverse event called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), and that there are other COVID vaccine options available for which this risk has not been seen. CDC and FDA will continue to monitor the safety of all COVID vaccines.
The South African COVID variant B1.351 has been confirmed in the Panhandle. Variants are more contagious and can cause more severe illness and hospitalization.
“Getting vaccinated is critical to slowing the spread of COVID, especially with the presence of variants in the Panhandle,” said Kim Engel, Panhandle Public Health District Director.