Hospitalizations up in Garfield County, booster offers greater protection
Hospitalizations increase, omicron retreats
As of Wednesday, January 27, Garfield County had 13 cases of individuals hospitalized with COVID-19, of which seven are unvaccinated, six vaccinated. Only two of the vaccinated had been boosted. The average age of those hospitalized was 63 for the unvaccinated, and 71 for the vaccinated.
“We know that hospitalizations and deaths follow case increases,” said Mason Hohstadt, Garfield County Public Health Specialist. “This increase in hospitalizations is not unexpected. The difference from this time last year to present is that we are seeing a lower proportion of cases being admitted for COVID-19.”
Boosters making large impact on hospitalization data
Protection offered by COVID-19 vaccine wane over time, even for those who receive two doses. However, the following findings show the importance of receiving a third dose of an mRNA vaccine when initial effectiveness has waned.
Unvaccinated adults ages 50 to 64 are 44 times more likely, (age 65 and older, 49 times more likely) to be hospitalized than those who have had three doses of the vaccine according to December 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. Unvaccinated adults ages 50 to 64 are 17 times more likely to be hospitalized than those with only two doses of vaccine.
Another recent CDC study shows a third booster dose highly effective during both the delta and omicron predominant periods at preventing emergency room or urgent care visits (94 percent during delta and 82 percent during omicron circulation).
How to reuse KN95 masks
KN95 masks can be safely used more than once before being discarded. KN95 masks can be reused up to five times, though masks worn briefly, such as trips to the store, may last longer than those worn all day or worn around sick individuals. Masks that are visibly soiled, wearing down, or no longer maintaining a good seal, should be discarded.
To re-use your mask, CDC recommends placing used masks in paper bags for 5-7 days. This period of time allows any potential coronavirus to become inactive. Don’t try to wash, or disinfect masks with soap, bleach, or alcohol, as this can damage the mask material. FREE KN95 and surgical grade masks are available at locations around Garfield County.