Residents Urged to Get Vaccinated to Slow Spread of Delta Variant
SWANSEA — Town Administrator Mallory Aronstein, Public Health Nurse Emily Lachance and Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director Eric Hajder wish to share the latest safety recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases within Swansea.
The Swansea Board of Health reports a 200% increase in COVID-19 cases within the community since July 14. Over the course of July 1 through July 14 there were nine confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 within the community. Since July 15, the number of COVID-19 cases has skyrocketed with there currently being 27 confirmed or probable cases.
“Over the past couple of weeks, the Town of Swansea has experienced a significant increase in COVID-19 cases,” Town Administrator Aronstein said. “Out of an abundance of caution and in line with best health practices, we recommend that our residents wear face masks while indoors to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and its Delta variant.”
Residents who have not already done so are urged to get vaccinated. Doing so greatly reduces the risk of significant illness from COVID-19, including the Delta variant. To find a location where you can be vaccinated, visit vaxfinder.mass.gov.
According to public health reports, only 59% of eligible individuals ages 12+ in Bristol County are fully vaccinated. Swansea’s current vaccination rate is 61% with more than 85% of senior residents ages 65+ vaccinated, but only 42% of 12-18 year old residents vaccinated.
Virtually all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the United States continue to be among unvaccinated individuals. The most significant levels of spread and most severe cases of illness and death associated with COVID-19 — including Delta variant cases — are occurring in places with low vaccination rates. Additionally, vaccinated individuals represent a very small portion of total Delta variant transmissions.
The CDC announced on Tuesday, July 27, that it is recommending that those in “areas of substantial and high transmission” should wear a mask in indoor public settings, even if they are fully vaccinated. According to the CDC, Massachusetts is currently an area of moderate transmission, but communities in Bristol County are areas of substantial transmission. As such, residents in the Town of Swansea are strongly urged to wear a mask while in indoor public settings.
According to the CDC, the COVID-19 Delta variant is far more easily transmissible than the initial COVID-19 infection. The Delta variant has most recently surged to become the predominant variant – from less than 1% in May to over 80% of all U.S. COVID-19 cases in July.
The CDC and local officials encourage residents to get vaccinated and continue masking until they are fully vaccinated. Vaccinations will prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death relating to COVID-19, while also reducing the spread of the virus through communities.
The CDC also announced a recommendation for a universal indoor mask mandate for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status, when schools return to full-time, in-person learning this fall.
To learn more about the Delta variant, click here.