BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — COVID cases continue to climb with health leaders taking action around the Nation. But where do vaccinations stand in Kern County and beyond?
"We gotta get the unvaccinated vaccinated in order to change the course of this pandemic," said Dr. Carlos del Rio, executive associate dean of Emory University School of Medicine & Grady Health System. "I can tell you that 90 plus percent of those hospitalized are not vaccinated."
What You Need to Know:
- COVID-19 vaccines are effective at helping protect against severe disease and death from variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 currently circulating, including the Delta variant.
- If you are fully vaccinated you can resume many activities that you did before the pandemic, but you should wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission to maximize protection from the Delta variant and possibly spreading it to others.
- You may have side effects after vaccination. These are normal and should go away in a few days.
- Learn how to find a COVID-19 vaccine so you can get it as soon as you can.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not over: 99-percent of Americans live in a county with a "high" or "substantial" level of COVID-19 transmission. The United States is averaging 1,800 new covid-deaths every single day. Compared to two weeks ago that's up 24-percent according to Johns Hopkins University.
In response to the nationwide trends, COVID and vaccination rules are getting tighter. This week a Maryland legislative panel ruled all 24 school districts must obey a new mask mandate. And masks are now mandatory in New York's state-regulated childcare and daycare centers. Los Angeles is set to mandate at least partial vaccination for employees and customers at indoor bars, wineries, and nightclubs.
LA County to require proof of vaccination to enter bars
And as more children are diagnosed with COVID doctors are trying to find out if their symptoms are becoming more severe.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says COVID cases in children were at an all-time high in late August. Doctors say in many cases where kids end up in the hospital they're also dealing with a second infection of another respiratory virus. Now, researchers are looking into whether COVID is becoming more severe due to the delta variant or if it's due to other infections.
Doctors are hoping to have an answer by the end of this year.
All of this is as public health organizations invest money into COVID research. The National Institutes of Health is giving $470 million to New York University to look into the long-term effects of coronavirus. The goal is to build a massive database of what people nationwide are going through.
Enrollment for the studies is expected to begin in the next few months.
COVID Exhibit in Washington, D.C.
In our nation's Capitol a somber memorial on the National Mall in Washington. An exhibit opened remembering those killed by the coronavirus. Each of the 665,000 white flags represents a person in America who lost their life to the virus.
That's how many flags the exhibit will open with on Friday but it will grow each day with a new flag added for each new death. The tribute is called "United in Grief' and runs until October 3rd.
Those who visit will be allowed to personalize flags to specifically honor someone they lost. If you can't make it to the exhibit, you can write a dedication online and a volunteer will write it down on a flag.
Locally, Public Health reported 510 new coronavirus infections raising the total to 133,792 cases. Four more people lost their lives to the virus bringing the total number of COVID-related deaths to 1,514 in Kern County. And there are two new cases of the delta variant raising that total to 173.
And the California Department of Health is reporting 7,360 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state. The total for California now stands at just over 4.3 million confirmed cases. So far there have been just over 67,000 COVID-19 related deaths since the start of the pandemic.