Sunday, October 24, 2021

Play

Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

Play

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Breaking Down the Facts on Breakthrough COVID Cases

Play

Wednesday, July 28, 2021   

MINNEAPOLIS - As COVID cases trend upward again, public-health experts are setting the record straight on certain storylines about new infections.

Minnesota's seven-day average for new COVID cases had dipped below 100 earlier this summer. Now, it's nearing 300. Health officials blame the combination of the Delta variant spreading and a slower rate of vaccinations.

For some who elected to get the shots, there are instances of infections. But David Dowdy, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said the vaccines still work; there are just some key things to remember.

"They give your immune system a jump-start on the virus, but every now and then, that jump-start is not quite enough to prevent an infection," he said. "Almost always, it's going to be enough to prevent you from getting really, really sick."

He said no vaccine is perfect. However, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted that fewer than 1% of COVID deaths and hospitalizations have been tied to fully vaccinated individuals. Despite the rarity of breakthrough cases, Dowdy said it's important to be cautious in public settings to prevent major spikes again, noting the risk for vulnerable populations, such as older adults, even if they've been vaccinated.

As for vaccination rates, groups such as AARP have raised concerns about benchmarks for staff members at places such as nursing homes.

Dowdy said there are many reasons some people are hesitant to get a shot, including in communities overlooked by public-health offices. However, he suggested that it's reasonable to take a closer look at places such as assisted-living facilities.

"That does change the calculus a little bit," he said. "You're not just thinking about yourself now; you're thinking about the people that you're having to come in contact with on a daily basis."

In its latest nursing home COVID-19 dashboard, AARP said just 17% of Minnesota nursing homes have met an industry target of having at least 75% of staff fully vaccinated. Overall, 88% of the state's nursing-home residents have completed the immunization cycle, compared with 62% of all staff.


get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …


Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …


In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Gov. Tom Wolf already has increased the minimum wage for state employees and contractors, which is set to reach $15 an hour by July 2024. (Gov. Tom Wolf/Flickr)

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …

Environment

ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …

Social Issues

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Mike Parson is facing calls to get the Missouri Cybersecurity Commission off the ground after it was created by the …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021