All living American presidents endorse COVID vaccination
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is taking two holiday weeks off from updating its COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review, but it has shortened its recommended isolation time for asymptomatic people who test positive for COVID-19 from 10 days to five days.
American presidents nos. 46 and 45 both endorsed COVID vaccination this past week, in line with all four of the living past presidents, nos. 44, 43, 42 and 39.
In a televised statement to the nation last week, President Joe Biden told Americans that getting vaccinated against COVID is “your patriotic duty” and “an obligation to your country.”
Former president Donald Trump, who was vaccinated at the White House back in January, revealed during an interview with conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly last week that he has also received a COVID-19 vaccine booster. And in a very recent interview with conservative media personality Candace Owens, Trump stated, “I came up with three vaccines — all are very, very good. I came up with three of them in less than nine months. … The vaccine worked. But some people aren’t taking it. The ones that get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don’t take the vaccine. … People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine.”
Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter also are vaccinated against COVID and urged their fellow Americans to get vaccinated in a joint, televised announcement back in March.
Still, 50 million vaccine-eligible Americans remain totally unvaccinated — that’s about 15% of the vaccine-eligible population.
Overwhelmed hospitals in north-eastern Ohio came together in a full-page public plea in Sunday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer entitled simply: “Help.” The hospitals, fearful they will run out of staff and beds for patients who need them for all illnesses, say they have more COVID patients than ever before, and “the overwhelming majority are unvaccinated. … We need you to care as much as we do.”
As the TC reported two weeks ago, there is currently a statewide California mask mandate for indoor public places in effect through Jan. 15. The mask mandate includes patrons in indoor restaurants, except when they are actually eating or drinking.
As of Tuesday morning, the Dashboard of the Hemet Unified School District (HUSD) reported recently confirmed cases (last two weeks) of COVID at Idyllwild School as being one student and no staff members; that is, 0.33% of its combined student/staff population, same as last week. At Hemet High, 13 students and no staff members are reported as confirmed cases, which is 0.50% of its student/staff popula-tion, the same as the last two weeks. The HUSD Dashboard states: “Positive cases will appear on the Dashboard for 14 days from the date they are reported and then will be removed after the 14th day.” So, HUSD’s rolling Dashboard reports active cases confirmed during the previous two weeks.
As of Tuesday, Riverside County Public Health (RCPH) reported 243 total cases of COVID in the Idyllwild-Pine Cove community, with four deaths and 235 recovered, leaving four cases currently active in our community — four times as many as last week.
County-wide, RCPH is now reporting a total of 392,964 confirmed COVID cases (5,981 more than last week) with 5,554 total deaths (18 more than last week) and 380,670 having recovered, leaving 6,740 active cases in Riverside County, 1,229 fewer than last week. The county reports 371 (54 more than last week) hospitalized COVID patients (the state reports 391 in Riverside County), 88 of which are in intensive care (the state reports 91). On Tuesday morning, the state’s website reported 99 intensive care unit (ICU) beds available in Riverside County (18 more than last week). CDC has been alternating between rating Riverside County as a “Substantial” versus “High” transmission area. Currently, the county continues to be rated “High.”
RCPH reports that, as of Dec. 26 in Riverside County, 7.7% of the population ages 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated — while 47.9% of ages 12 to 5, 54.2% of ages 16 to 24, 57.8% of ages 25 to 44, 71.2% of ages 45 to 64 and 74.5% of ages 65-plus have been fully vaccinated. Currently, the term “fully vaccinated” does not include boosters. Visit https://rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine-with-Registration to schedule vaccinations.
As of Dec. 27, California reported 4,990,016 total confirmed COVID cases statewide (54,555 more than last week), with 75,461 resulting deaths (294 more than last week).
Omicron’s symptoms appear to be milder than Delta’s, but it is clear that Omicron is extremely transmissible, person-to-person — far more so than the Delta variant.
CDC continues to advise that vaccination, along with other important prevention strategies, continues to be the best defense against severe COVID disease. CDC urges people to: 1) get vaccinated as soon as possible, with a booster shot just as soon as you are eligible for one; 2) wear a mask that covers both your nose and your mouth when in indoor public places; 3) whenever possible, stay 6 feet apart from people you don’t live with; 4) avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces; 5) continue to wash your hands often with soap and water, using hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available; and 6) “consider” self-testing before attending indoor gatherings, and if you test positive, or you are sick and have symptoms, don’t go.
As we reported last week, Dr. David N. Fisman, epidemiologist at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, recommends a return to high-quality, snug-fitting N95, KN95 or CN95 masks instead of “baggy” surgical-type or homemade masks because of the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant, which can be carried in extremely fine exhaled aerosol particles and, “The fit is everything,” Fisman has said.