With the return to travel, indoor dining, and relative normalcy this summer, it may have seemed for a short time as though COVID-19 was in our rearview mirrors. However, with the spread of the Delta variant and increasing case numbers across Pennsylvania, we must take every precaution we can to slow the spread of this virus and prevent the further proliferation of variants.
On Thursday, the CDC reclassified Chester County’s transmission level from moderate to substantial. Although Chester County’s vaccination rate is relatively high, we have seen a steady increase in cases over the past few weeks.
The good news is that unlike the early months of 2021, we now have widespread vaccine access and availability. We still have the ability to crush COVID-19 and future variants, but it is up to all of us to work together to defeat this virus. The single best way to empower yourself, join the fight against COVID, and truly get back to normal is to get a vaccine.
- Getting vaccinated protects not only the vaccinated individual, but also children under 12 and others who are unable to be vaccinated.
- Vaccines protect us all by impeding the virus’s ability to mutate and create new strains and variants, which could at some point become vaccine resistant.
If you are not yet vaccinated, now is the time. The vaccines authorized for use in the United States are safe and effective. If you have concerns about vaccine safety, speak with your physician or healthcare provider.
Vaccines are free and readily available through the Chester County Health Department, as well as through many local pharmacies and physicians’ offices. For more information about COVID vaccine safety andwhere to find a vaccine near you, click here.
The move to substantial level of transmission means that all residents, regardless of vaccination status, are now recommended to wear masks indoors in public spaces.
While the vaccine provides effective protection even from the Delta variant and prevents severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19, there is evidence that this variant can be transmitted by vaccinated individuals who become symptomatic with breakthrough infections. Wearing a mask protects us all.
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19, please isolate, take care of yourself, and get tested. The CDC recommends testing 3-5 days after the date of a known exposure to COVID-19.
To find a testing location in Chester County, click here.
For more information about COVID symptoms and testing in PA, click here.