Dr. Warcup Update: Wednesday, April 28th, 2021 Pandemic Day 415

Fri, 04/30/2021 - 3:15pm
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Our region has seen the positivity rate decline. Rhode Island has dropped from a 2.5% rate to 1.9%. Massachusetts saw the same reduction from 2.5% to 1.71%. Connecticut currently has a 3.24% rate.

In Rhode Island, 135 people are in the hospital with COVID-19 (the peak was last December with 514), 31 people are in the intensive care unit, and 24 of those are on ventilators.
There have not been any known cases of Coronavirus on the island in the past four weeks. Efforts to wear masks, social distance, and hand-sanitize are greatly appreciated. As the island opens and the population increases, challenges will arise with proximity inside restaurants, bars, and establishments. Dr. Warcup encourages everyone to keep mindful and keep our status going without any COVID positive
cases.
A pre-peer study analyzed the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, confirming what was suspected during the trials. Both first doses of Pfizer and Moderna activate specific T-cells, which then induce a strong antibody response after the second dose. In recovered COVID patients, the first dose boosted both T-cells and antibodies. However, the second dose did not significantly affect  the immune response. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will likely come out with new guidance for recovered COVID patients stating they may only need one dose of those vaccines. The CDC says that anyone who had an asymptomatic case does not have sustained immunity and recommends they get either both doses of Pfizer or Moderna or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Please see our website for where to sign up.
A New England Journal of Medicine study of more than 35,000 pregnant people who received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine found they were not associated with increased pregnancy-related adverse events or neonatal adverse events such as preterm births or neonatal deaths. The study revealed that the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccine are safe for pregnant patients.

However, in the Journal of Pediatrics, their recent study revealed pregnant people with COVID-19 are at a substantially increased risk of severe maternal morbidity and mortality and neonatal complications. Dr. Warcup urges everyone to get vaccinated.
The Food and Drug Administration will allow over-the-counter, at-home COVID tests to be sold at Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS locations beginning this week. These tests are rapid antigen tests and will yield results in 15 minutes. The prices range from $25-$40.
For the first time in a month, the seven-day-average in the United States has registered less than 60,000 cases. Rhode Island is sixth in the country for the number of fully vaccinated people. We are tied in fi rst place in the country for vaccinating people 65 and older.

The CDC states that fully vaccinated or not, people do not have to wear a mask outdoors when they walk, bike, or run alone or with members of their household. They can also go maskless in small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated people. Non-vaccinated individuals need to maintain all the proper COVID precautions. However, the CDC recommends everyone keep wearing masks at crowded outdoor
events such as concerts and sporting events.
In a press release, Governor McKee announced that effective Friday, April 30, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors except in crowded settings and venues. Vaccinated people have more flexibility as to when and where they have to wear their masks. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving their final dose. A crowded setting is defined as one where an individual can not maintain three feet of social distance. This will likely pose a problem with many of the settings on the island. However, Dr. Warcup urges everyone to keep up their diligence mask-wearing, socially distancing, hand sanitizing, and getting outside.
Dr. Warcup thanks everyone for their help.