UNC Expert Shares COVID, Health Advice for Students, Teachers and Staff

UNC COVID experts share health tips for students, teachers and staff

The school year begins on Mondays for students in Chapel Hill-Carborough schools and in Orange and Chatham counties. Meanwhile, the majority of North Carolina’s counties are considered a High-level risk of community transmission of COVID-19 by the CDC.

Although COVID infection rates aren’t quite as bad as this time last year, Dr. David Weber, UNC medical director for the division of infection prevention at the university medical center, said case numbers remain high, in part because of the degree The new bachelor. COVID-19 strain.

“However, because there is a high level of immunity to natural infection or partial immunity to the vaccine, we generally do not see a sudden rise in the hospital, with the hospital overcrowded with very sick patients,” Weber said. “Despite that, like I said. We still have 400 to 500 people dying every day.”

Weber said case numbers will almost certainly be underreported due to increased access to home testing, as results are not reported to county or state health officials.

David Weber, MD. Image courtesy of the United Nations University Department of Medicine.

During the school year, Orange County schools and CHCCS say they will track and report weekly positive COVID tests on their websites.

The key to prevention remains vaccines and concealment, Weber said, although schools can also help protect students, staff and teachers by improving ventilation in classrooms. Parents are recommended to fully vaccinate their children before sending them to school.

“[The vaccine] It has excellent protection against severe illness or death and good protection even against BA5 and infection.”

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed the use of vaccines for babies up to 6 months of age in JulyHowever, the vaccination rate among school-age children remains low. Only 27 percent of children ages 5 to 11 in North Carolina have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to data from the state’s Department of Health. 48 percent of children ages 12 to 17 received a single dose of the vaccine.

Among employees, the vaccination rate is much higher. CHCCS school officials report that 97 percent of its staff have been fully vaccinated.

For those who become ill with COVID, the CDC recommends that people stay home for at least 5 days. but. There is disagreement over the exact number of quarantine days. A recent study outlined in the scientific journal Nature He notes that people can be contagious after a few days, and some infectious disease experts advise those who test positive to isolate until they test negative with a quick home antigen test.

For people of all ages with weakened immune systems, Weber suggests wearing masks when you’re indoors or close to other people.

He said: “If a child is particularly vulnerable, not many children have cancer than adults do, but some do, then masking is still the best protection for these highly vulnerable children as well as teachers and other school staff who may have sensitive conditions. “. .

Meanwhile, Webber said a new booster vaccine that offers increased protection against the Omicron variant is just around the corner, and can be expected sometime in late September.

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