Saline County lost another member of the community to COVID-19 this week, bringing the death toll in the county to 121.
According to the Saline County Health Department, along with the new death there here have been 58 new COVID-19 cases identified since Wednesday, making 167 new cases in the last seven days. Agency staff is actively monitoring 307 cases of COVID-19.
Salina Regional Health Center reports they currently have 13 patients who require hospitalization for COVID-19. The majority of the patients are between 20 and 60years old and most are residents of Saline County. The vaccination status of the hospitalized individuals is not available at this time.
At least 22,384 people have been vaccinated in Saline County. This accounts for approximately 41.2 percent of the total population and an increase of 1.3 percent (or an additional 770 residents) over the previous week.
When you hear about “breakthrough” cases, context matters. In the U.S., the people who are being hospitalized with COVID-19 these days are almost exclusively not fully vaccinated.
First, some basics: SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19. Keep this in mind because it is possible to test positive for the virus without experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19—and this is especially true if you are vaccinated.
The authorized vaccines are very good at preventing severe disease- especially hospitalizations and deaths. They reduce the risk of infection and transmission of the virus, but mostly they ensure that when I person becomes infected, they are unlikely to get sick.
Vaccines train the immune system to respond to the virus, making it less likely to experience harmful disease. The virus is also less likely to spread in settings with high levels of population immunity. This is why vaccinating as many people as possible is important.
Most experts agree that true “breakthrough” cases are those that lead to severe illness in fully vaccinated individuals. The vaccines available in the U.S. do a wonderful job of preventing such cases – and protecting against SARS-CoV-2 variants.
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