On December 6th the SUUF COVID team met via Zoom to discuss the apparent increase in COVID and other serious viral infections in our area. The CDC has recently changed the risk level in both Yavapai and Coconino counties from Low to Medium. Regional hospitals have also seen an uptick in admissions of patients with COVID, influenza, and RSV infections, most of whom are elderly or have underlying medical conditions that make them more vulnerable. The primary factors precipitating this situation appear to be the emergence of viral variants that are less susceptible to immunity from vaccination or previous infection, in combination with increased exposure from contacts over the Thanksgiving weekend with travel and indoor gatherings.
The CDC recommendations for communities at Medium risk include increased caution and protective measures for those who may be immunocompromised because of age or medical conditions. Such individuals at risk for serious illness should contact their health professionals with regard to advice about masking and other precautions for indoor gatherings. Everyone is encouraged to make sure they are optimally protected by up-to-date immunization for COVID, Influenza, and other respiratory illness.
The members of our SUUF COVID team agree that it is not necessary to change our current prevention policies unless the CDC community risk level returns to High. We do anticipate that our planned events in the near future such as the Holiday Concert and Party may present some increased risk of exposure for our most susceptible members, but will leave the decisions about precautions that should be taken up to those individuals and their medical consultants.
We will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation and make further recommendations as indicated.
Jim Loomis, Chair