Sensia COVID Update

As a service to our corporate clients, Sensia offers weekly updates on the COVID pandemic.  Sensia provides this information to keep you as up to date as possible on the everchanging COVID landscape.

June 2, 2021

Good news for the United States but with a warning.  The 7-day average of cases has continued to decline.  The 7-day average of new cases in the United States was only 18,913 on May 29 in comparison to 23,215 on May 24, 38,678 on May 9, and 55,186 on April 26.  Just to put this into perspective, the highest 7-day average case rate in the United States was 252,931 on January 8, 2021!  A huge overall improvement.  The vaccines work!

The 7-day average for death in the United States has currently stabilized and was 442 on May 29 in comparison to 398 on May 24, 545 on May 16, and 666 on April 26.  To put these numbers into perspective the highest 7-day average for COVID deaths in the United States was 3,557 on January 13, 2021.  The total number of deaths attributed to COVID stands at 591,265 as of May 29.

Wisconsin is doing well although the pace of vaccinations has declined.  The 7-day average of cases in Wisconsin was 248 on May 29 in comparison to 398 on May 24, 498 on May 16, 642 on May 9, and 712 on April 26.  For perspective the highest 7-day average case rate in Wisconsin was 7045 on November 18, 2020.  The 7-day average for deaths in Wisconsin fluctuates and was 11 on May 29.  The highest 7-day average for deaths in Wisconsin was 68 on December 7, 2020.

Michigan has continued with the same positive trend.  The 7-day average of cases was 794 on May 29 in comparison to 901 on May 24, 2714 on May 9, and 5144 on April 26.  The highest 7-day average case rate in Michigan was 6668 on April 13, 2021.  The 7-day death rate in Michigan was 15 on May 29.

The COVID vaccination statistics are impressive but have been slowing.  Over 295,000,000 COVID vaccinations have been administered in the United States.  As of May 29, 50.5% of Americans have received at least one dose and 40.7% are fully vaccinated.  Of those 12 years and older, 59.8% have received at least one dose and 48.2% are fully vaccinated.  Of those 18 years and older, 62.6% have received at least one dose and 51.5% are fully vaccinated.  Of those 65 years and older, 85.9% have received at least one dose and 74.8% are fully vaccinated.

Although the vaccination rate in Wisconsin started out with a bang, the pace has definitely declined.  As of June 1, 47.9% of all Wisconsinites have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 42.0% are fully vaccinated.  In comparison, seven states have achieved over 60% of all residents receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.  At present, less than half of Wisconsin residents are fully vaccinated.

The caution with COVID is that many Americans and Wisconsinites remain unvaccinated.  The recent holiday weekend was likely characterized by frequent family gatherings and lax safety practices.  Whether an uptick in COVID cases will occur will soon be known.  The bottom line is that the unvaccinated remain at the same risk of contracting COVID at any time during the pandemic.

https://apple.news/At1SeVDRST1Wsex-eoSqydQ

The unvaccinated in the United States also face a greater risk, exposure to the India variant (B.1.617.2) of the virus.  The India variant now represents 7% of the new COVID cases in the United States.  The India variant is felt to be more easily transmitted than other COVID strains.  In spite of the overall improvement in the pandemic, we cannot lose track of the fact that Americans are still contracting and dying from the disease.

https://apple.news/A2E_55SpiReKwmBB4xt–xA

The best strategy continues to be to practice mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing along with encouraging all Americans to get vaccinated for COVID.

COVID Vaccine Update and World News

To date, 1.93 billion COVID vaccinations have been conducted around the world which equates to about 25 shots per 100 people.  Significant disparities exist however with many countries lagging far behind.  The Biden Administration is considering sending COVID vaccine to less developed countries especially given the slowdown in vaccination in the United States.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/world/covid-vaccinations-tracker.html

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stated that companies may mandate that an employee receive the COVID vaccine as a condition of return to work at the facility.  However, any employer practices must abide by the stipulations of the American’s With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Civil Rights Act.  The ADA includes provisions requiring that employers ensure that health information remains confidential and that accommodations are provided to those who are unable to be vaccinated such as allowing work from home.  The attachment below provides a thorough summary of the legal issues surrounding COVID.

https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws

In order to avoid mandates, many cities, states, and businesses are offering incentives to receive the vaccine including paid time off and financial payments.  The EEOC has declared that incentives are fine but cannot be coercive.  Ultimately, each employer may need to seek legal guidance when establishing your own vaccination policies.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/employers-now-have-2-clear-options-to-4187874/

Bear in mind that as an employer, more than 50% of employees in Wisconsin are not yet fully vaccinated.  Advising the use of masks at work until well over 60% of adults in Wisconsin are fully immunized may be prudent.  Employees who are fully immunized may be allowed to not wear a mask if around other fully vaccinated employees or if they work in an isolated area.

Sensia provides presentations to vaccine hesitant audiences as to the benefits and risks of COVID vaccination.  If you are interested in learning more, please contact Patti Schaetz at Sensia.

Sensia’s Service Summary

Sensia provides comprehensive Occupational Health, Wellness, and Primary Care services to employers and their employees by providing medical clinics and/or medical staff at the worksite.  Sensia actively assists our clients in managing the COVID pandemic.  Sensia is an independent healthcare organization not affiliated with any of the hospital-based systems.  At Sensia, our client is the employer and their employees.  References are available upon request.

If you wish to learn more about Sensia’s services, please contact Patti Schaetz at pschaetz@sensiawellness.com or call 920-470-5133.  Sensia looks forward to the conversation.

Sincerely,

Andrew J. Seter, M.D.

CEO/President

Sensia Wellness

aseter@sensiawellness.com

Patti Schaetz

President – Business Development

Employee Health Coaching

Sensia offers a variety of wellness services including health risk assessments, educational presentations, and incentive programs to assist employees in learning more about how to manage their health and wellbeing. Please contact Patti Schaetz, President – Business Development at pschaetz@mysensia.com, or call us at 920-470-5133 to discuss how we can help you this year.  You can also visit our website at, www.mysensia.com for additional information and a list of our other services.