August 28, 2021 12:13 PM
COVID-19 WEEKLY UPDATE – SATURDAY, AUGUST 28, 2021
COVID-19 SITUATION REPORT
• For the first time in many weeks, yesterday’s weekly report from the Florida Department of Health indicated a slight decrease in Covid-19 positivity rates for the State of Florida and Palm Beach County. The State’s positivity rate was 16.8% and Palm Beach County’s positivity rate was 13.9% over the last 7 days. The prior week was 19.8% for the State and 17.9% for Palm Beach County.
• The cumulative number of Covid-19 cases in the State of Florida is now 3,179,714 (+151,749 from a week ago) and in Palm Beach County it is 197,754 (+8,595 from a week ago). The cumulative number of people in the State of Florida that have at least one vaccine dose is now 12,916,873 (+461,034 from a week ago) and in Palm Beach County it is 918,715 (+11,792 from a week ago). Click on the link at the end of this alert to read the State’s report.
COVID-19 VACCINATIONS & BOOSTER SHOTS
• The Delta variant continues to be the more contagious, lethal, and dominant strain of Covid-19 in Palm Beach County and across the country. Although masks and good hygiene will help to slow the spread, increasing vaccination rates is the primary method for reaching herd immunity. The Town strongly encourages all eligible individuals who have yet to receive a vaccination to do so immediately. As of August 27, 52.2% of the US population has been fully vaccinated and 61.5% are partially vaccinated.
• The COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States continue to be remarkably effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. Recognizing that many vaccines are associated with a reduction in protection over time, and acknowledging that additional vaccine doses could be needed to provide long-lasting protection, the CDC has been analyzing the scientific data closely from the United States and around the world to understand how long this protection will last and how we might maximize this protection. The available data makes it very clear that protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection begins to decrease over time following the initial doses of vaccination, and in association with the dominance of the Delta variant, evidence is starting to reveal reduced protection against mild and moderate disease.
• Based on the latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout. For that reason, the CDC has concluded that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability. The CDC has developed a plan to begin offering these booster shots this fall subject to FDA conducting an independent evaluation and determination of the safety and effectiveness of a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines. They also anticipate information regarding booster shots for the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine to be released in the next few weeks.
• If a booster shot is approved by the FDA and the State of Florida is able to provide vaccines to the Town, our Fire-Rescue Department will administer the shots to residents, similar to the rollout of the initial vaccines.
MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY TREATMENTS
• Depending on your age, health history, and how long you’ve had symptoms of COVID-19, you may qualify for a promising form of treatment for the disease called monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment. Some early evidence suggests that mAb treatment can reduce the amount of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19) in a person's system. This amount is known as viral load. Having a lower viral load means you may have milder symptoms thereby decreasing the likelihood of you needing to stay in the hospital. mAb treatment may help people who have a positive COVID-19 test, and had symptoms for 10 days or less, and are at high risk of getting more serious symptoms.
• Palm Beach Fire Rescue has received a shipment of Monoclonal Antibody therapeutics to provide to its citizens that are at increased risk for potentially fatal outcomes from contracting Covid-19. The Town of Palm Beach is mostly comprised of older individuals who are more likely to be vulnerable to this virus. Our fire-based EMS system is uniquely designed to handle this mission and will make a difference in the lives of our community by offering this service free of charge.
• We are asking those who are interested to call 561-227-7092 to make an appointment. A member of Palm Beach Fire Rescue will take your information, conduct initial screening, and schedule a time for a unit to come to your home to receive the treatment. Our department paramedics will arrive at your home to administer the medication and will stay to monitor the patient, or connect a patient to a healthcare provider via telemedicine for 1 hour. We require that the person receiving the treatment has an address on the island so that they can be treated in their home. A business address is not allowed, as we require a private residence to monitor the patient. Click on the link below for more information about the Monoclonal Antibody treatment available through the Town’s Fire-Rescue Department.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
• The Town remains in a declared State of Emergency, due to the continued rise in new Covid-19 infections within Palm Beach County. Considering the risk of infection, the Town Council approved virtual meetings for all boards and commissions through the end of August. The policy requiring masks for all employees and visitors (regardless of vaccination status) in Town-owned government buildings, including Town Hall, the Police Station, Fire Stations, Recreation Center, Tennis Centers, Golf Course, and the Public Works facility remains in effect.
• The Town will continue to follow CDC guidelines and strongly encourage residents and businesses to continue doing the same, including the CDC’s recommendation to require masks indoors.
• Information about vaccinations and other matters related to the Covid-19 Pandemic can be found on the Town or CDC websites by clicking the links below.