A new COVID wave is here. Here’s how to avoid getting sick with all those graduations, weddings and summer trips

So what should you do to avoid getting sick this season during this wave? A lot of these tips people have heard before, but health experts say now is the time to double down. 

Get vaccinated and boosted

The good news is that the vaccines are doing what they are supposed to. This is especially welcome news as the state has started to see more breakthrough cases of COVID-19. 

As of last week, 116 people were reported hospitalized for COVID, and the majority of those patients have been vaccinated. During the delta and omicron surges, COVID-19 hospitalizations were dominated by unvaccinated patients; often the percentage of unvaccinated patients was closer to 70 or 80. Still, health experts say being vaccinated is the best way of avoiding a severe case of COVID-19.

“Vaccination still is very effective and helps keep you from getting severely ill or ending up in the hospital,” said Dr. Michelle Barron, an infectious disease expert at UCHealth. 

Nearly three out of four Coloradans older than 5 are now fully immunized with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, according to the state’s vaccination dashboard. 

Those younger than 5 are still not eligible, though approval could come soon. The Food and Drug Administration issued a timetable last month for a decision about authorizing a COVID-19 vaccine for the youngest children in the U.S. 

Hart Van Denburg/CRE News
Happy Haynes, the current Denver Parks and Recreation executive director, Denver Board of Education president and former City Council member, was among those getting a COVID-19 vaccination at Shorter AME Church in Denver, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021.

Stay away from crowds indoors, especially if ventilation is poor

We know that the coronavirus spreads through the air. 

The most common ways to spread the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are breathing close to an infected person who is exhaling aerosol droplets and particles that contain the virus; having infected droplets land in your eyes, nose or mouth from a cough or a sneeze from someone who is infected; and touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands that have the virus on them.

And when you’re indoors and around a lot of people, aside from being vaccinated, maintaining that 6 feet of distance can protect you, especially now that precautions like mask-wearing have been dropped at the state level in Colorado. 

John Swartzberg, an infectious diseases doctor at Cal Berkeley recently canceled a trip to his granddaughter’s graduation because the event was planned indoors. He and his wife are both vaccinated are boosted, and though he says they are heartbroken, it wasn’t worth the risk. 

“I think the chances of my winding up in hospital with COVID, even though I’m 77, (are) really small, I worry about long COVID,” he said.

Leave a Comment