The incidence of COVID-19 infections in our area, as in the rest of the nation, has been increasing over the last several weeks to a level that is the highest since the beginning of the pandemic. The percentage of positive tests, cases per 100,000 population, hospitalizations, death rates, and other measures of disease activity are all rising. The rollout of effective vaccines has started, but the availability has been limited. And our body takes several weeks to develop an effective antibody response that will protect against infection. And we do not know yet if a vaccinated person, although protected from getting sick themselves, can act as a carrier to infect other people.
So, to work towards getting us all back together at UUCJ:
- Get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as it is available to you. Various hospitals and other health care organizations have programs for their employees and sometimes their family members. The Duval County Health Department is implementing their program and you can call for details (contact 904-253-3140). Your personal physician may give you good advice.
- Continue to wear a mask. They really do work, despite what some people say. The best masks are rated N-95 and are available from stores or online (at a cheaper price). Consumerlab.com rates the PoweCom mask as one of the most effective, available from Bone Fide (10 to $12.50).
- Practice social distancing. Hugs and kisses will have to wait.
- Avoid large gatherings, especially indoor events.
- If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 or become ill yourself, please quarantine or isolate yourself to avoid spreading the infection to other people.