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.

May 19, 2021

Overall, very good news for the country and for Wisconsin.  The 7-day average of cases in the United States has continued to decline to 30,211 on May 16 in comparison to 38,678 on May 9, 48,164 on May 2, and 55,186 on April 26.  The 7-day average for death in the United States is also declining and was 545 on May 16 in comparison to 608 on May 9, 658 on May 2, and 666 on April 26.  The total number of deaths attributed to COVID stands at 583,075 as of May 16.  As noted in a previous blog, whether the total number of reported deaths and cases from COVID as stated by the CDC is correct is open to question.  Regardless, the trend for the pandemic in the United States is definitely heading in the right direction.

Wisconsin mimics the national trend.  The 7-day case average in Wisconsin was 498 on May 16 in comparison to 642 on May 9, 737 on May 2, and 712 on April 26.  The 7-day average for deaths in Wisconsin was 8 on May 16 after hovering around 6 for several weeks.

Michigan has made a strong turn around.  The 7-day average caseload was 1158 on May 16 in comparison to 2714 on May 9, 3587 on May 2, and 5144 on April 26.  The 7-day death rate in Michigan was 30 on May 16 in comparison to 36 on May 9, and the mid 20’s previously.  Expectation is that the death rate in Wisconsin and Michigan will continue to fall.

The COVID vaccination statistics continue to impress.  Over 274,000,000 COVID vaccinations have been administered in the United States.  As of May 16, 47.5% of Americans have received at least one dose and 37.3% are fully vaccinated.  The COVID vaccine has been approved for those 12 years and older.  Of those 12 years and older, 56.3% have received at least one dose and 44.2% are fully vaccinated.  Of those older than 18 years of age, 59.8% have received at least one dose and 47.4% are fully vaccinated.  Of those older than 65 years of age, 84.6% have received at least one dose and 72.8% are fully vaccinated.

Herd immunity was always touted as the ultimate goal to eradicate the virus from the country.  Experts are now of the opinion that herd immunity will likely never be reached and that COVID will remain present in our society for years to come.  The persistence of COVID around the world and the development on new variants will allow the virus to continue to circulate.  The hope is that a high percent of vaccinated people will at least keep the virus under control and allow for resumption of a more normal level of activity.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/03/health/covid-herd-immunity-vaccine.html

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

India reported the highest daily death rate so far at 4329.  The overall number of cases is reportedly down however the accuracy of the COVID statistics in India is under suspicion and are likely much higher.  On top of the COVID pandemic, India was recently hit by a cyclone leaving many homeless complicating the current situation.  Also, many other countries throughout Southeast Asia including the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand are experiencing increases in COVID infections and death.  Many of these countries have vaccinated very few if any of their population.  Ultimately, the COVID pandemic is a worldwide problem.

https://www.npr.org/2021/05/18/997794616/cyclone-hits-india-on-deadliest-day-of-pandemic

As most of you are likely aware, the Biden Administration recently modified the mask wearing recommendations.  Fully vaccinated people are now allowed to not wear masks in many public and private gatherings.  Specific settings such as airports and hospitals still require the use of masks.  Individual organizations including businesses can determine their own mask wearing criterion.  What does all this mean to you as an employer?  Let’s look at a couple of questions that lie at the heart of this matter.

Can a fully vaccinated person get COVID?

In a nutshell the answer is yes.  Although the COVID vaccines are very effective, a small number of fully vaccinated people will develop the COVID infection which are called “breakthrough cases”.  The percent of fully vaccinated people who become a breakthrough case is unknown and under study but thought to be very low, <0.01%.  Numerous studies have demonstrated that the COVID vaccines significantly lower the rates of infection, hospitalization, and death.  No vaccine is perfect but the COVID vaccines are very good.

Can a fully vaccinated person transmit COVID?

Yes, but highly unlikely.  Real world evidence supports that the COVID vaccines are very effective at preventing asymptomatic, symptomatic, and serious infections.  Observational studies in the United Kingdom and Israel support that fully vaccinated people are at a very low risk of virus transmission.  Those who are fully vaccinated should feel comfortable in resuming their activities at least around others who are fully vaccinated as well.

https://www.medpagetoday.com/podcasts/trackthevax/92526

Bear in mind that as an employer, about 50% of employees are not yet fully vaccinated.  Almost 60% of adults over age 18 have received at least one dose.  If these people follow through on the second dose and an additional number participate, we could reasonably reach 70% of the population as fully vaccinated probably by July 2021.  Advising the use of masks at work at least until then may be prudent.

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.