Virus expert says she still wouldn’t go here, even with a booster
The United States is currently engaged in a debate over whether or not to start providing additional boosters to people who are already fully vaccinated. Research in recent months has shown that while all three vaccines remain protective against severe COVID, weather and the Delta variant have had some impact on the overall effectiveness of the vaccines against infection with the virus. But even amid discussions about a potential third dose, some virus experts have maintained certain precautions in the wake of the Delta surge, such as wearing masks and avoiding certain places.
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Cindy prins, an epidemiologist at the University of Florida, told Business Insider US that the potential promise of a recall is still not enough to make it return to covered restaurants. “A third hit would be great, but I don’t think a third hit is going to send me right back to activities that I consider risky,” she said.
Instead, Prins said she waits until her community has a lower threshold for daily coronavirus cases. “I would like it to reach maybe 10 cases per 100,000 people,” she told the outlet. “The likelihood of you encountering someone who actively has COVID at this point becomes much lower, so it just makes me feel like the odds are in my favor.”
Prins resides in Alachua County, Florida, which is currently experiencing a rate of around 52 new cases per 100,000 population, according to data from COVID Act Now. In order to achieve a low daily rate in his community, Prins said that an 85 percent vaccination goal would significantly help reduce transmission.
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And she is not the only one to take this precaution. Eating indoors is a risk that many virus experts say they still won’t take, especially as the Delta variant is circulating. Speaking to nearly 30 epidemiologists, immunologists and other infectious disease experts across the United States in August, STAT News found that 67% said they would not eat indoors at all right now. . Epidemiologist John brownstein, PhD, director of innovation at Boston Children’s Hospital, said it was important to “prioritize eating out whenever possible.”
Saskia Popescu, PhD, infectious disease epidemiologist and assistant professor at George Mason University, said The Washington Post that the risk of eating inside may be different for everyone. Much like Prins, she says there are three factors you should consider when deciding whether or not you should dine at a restaurant: your immunization status, the level of coronavirus transmission in your community, and your personal risk assessment. In terms of personal risk assessment, Popescu says you should determine whether or not you are immunocompromised or if you share a home with someone who is at greater risk for severe COVID or cannot yet be vaccinated, possibly due to of age.
âI’m really not looking at indoor dining right now,â she told the newspaper. âBeing indoors is a high risk activity when you eat dinner because you eat and drink. You don’t have a mask. There are a bunch of other people whose immunization status you don’t really know. and that are also unmasked. You’re there for extended periods of time. I watch it all, and that’s how I make an informed decision. So it’s not black and white. “
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