In late June, thousands of people gathered for a three-day country music festival in western Colorado. Cases of delta variants of the coronavirus are spreading rapidly in the area, but the health department said it was too late to cancel the country jam before the risk became apparent.

Rae Ellen Bichell / KHN

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Rae Ellen Bichell / KHN

In late June, thousands of people gathered for a three-day country music festival in western Colorado. Cases of delta variants of the coronavirus are spreading rapidly in the area, but the health department said it was too late to cancel the country jam before the risk became apparent.

Rae Ellen Bichell / KHN

Dr. Rachel Lacount grabbed a metal hoop from the playground and spun it with his seven-year-old son in a circle, turning the distant plaque of the Colorado National Monument into a reddish blotch.

LaCount lived in Grand Junction, Colorado (64,000 cities) for almost a lifetime. As a hospital pathologist, she knows better than most that her hometown is one of the best breeding grounds for the Delta variant of COVID-19 in the country.

“The Delta variant is very scary,” said Lacount.

Its highly contagious variant, first discovered in India, is now dominant of COVID-19 stocks in the US. Colorado is one of the top states According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the proportion of Delta variants is highest.

State health officials report that Mesa County has the highest number of delta-type cases than any other county in Colorado, making the area a hotspot within the hotspot. The CDC team and state epidemiologists visited Grand Junction to investigate how and why subspecies cases are moving so fast in Mesa County.

At her hospital, LaCount ordered a faster COVID test as the number of cases increased. She saw the intensive care unit fill up with COVID patients, so contrary to normal practice, hospital staff brought two people into the room.

Despite these alarming signs, many in Mesa County appear to have been vigilant. The percentage of fully vaccinated eligible residents is stuck at around 42%. LaCount noted that few people wear masks in grocery stores. Thousands of people recently gathered in Mack, 20 miles (20 miles) from Grand Junction. Country Jam A music festival that has the potential to accelerate the diffusion of various concert attendees into their hometowns.

“We’re doing national news for COVID variants and the CDC is investigating here, but there’s a huge festival that people aren’t masking,” LaCount said. “Are you going to get herd immunity here just because everyone is trying to get it? That said, it will probably happen at some point, but how much will it cost? “

* With a delta variant of the coronavirus spreading in Mesa County, Colorado, authorities considered trying a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for attendees in the weeks leading up to the music festival. Instead, they issued a warning sign that the area was a COVID hotspot.

Rae Ellen Bichell / KHN

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Rae Ellen Bichell / KHN

* With a delta variant of the coronavirus spreading in Mesa County, Colorado, authorities considered trying a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for attendees in the weeks leading up to the music festival. Instead, they issued a warning sign that the area was a COVID hotspot.

Rae Ellen Bichell / KHN

LaCount’s concern is not necessarily with herself or her spouse, but rather with her son, who has been vaccinated but cannot be vaccinated because he is under 12 years old. Variant. She hates taking him to a birthday party this summer, knowing that wearing a mask will likely tease him.

A man in the playground, a few yards from Lacount and her son, was still fishing in the pond with his ten-month-old daughter in a backpack. Garrett Whiting, who works in the construction industry, said he believed COVID was still “disproportionately blown away,” especially by the news media.

“They startled everyone very, very quickly,” Whiting said, slowly rolling a sparkling blue lure out of the water. “There is no reason to give up life just because something is scary.”

Whiting was COVID positive about 3 months ago. He said he had no plans to get vaccinated and his wife had no plans to get vaccinated. For babies on his back, he said he wasn’t sure he would be vaccinated if regulators allowed the infant to be injected.

Warnings from all over the world

The Delta variant is one of four “variants of concern” According to the CDC, the epidemic in the United States may be more resistant to treatment and infect vaccinated people better than other variants due to the ease with which the Delta strains spread. about that.

Delta variants issue warnings around the world. In parts of Australia re-lock health officials say the variant came from an American aircrew birthday party.

Israel Internal Mask Requirements Revised Following a series of new incidents involving school children. Top health officials said about a third of the 125 people infected were vaccinated and most new infections were delta-type.

The surge in Delta variant cases delayed the UK’s planned reopening in June. But the health authorities’ conclusion after examining about 14,000 cases of Delta mutants in the country, it was found that full vaccination with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine was 96% effective for hospitalization. Study In The World I made a similar discovery . There is also evidence of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines effective against variants.

Los Angeles District We recently recommended, out of concern about delta mutations, that residents wear masks again regardless of vaccination status.

Delta surge hits unvaccinated people

Jeff Kur, secretary-general of Mesa County’s Public Health Service, said the variant arrived in Mesa County this spring and accounts for only 1% of all cases nationwide.

Country Jam concert attendees were instructed to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. I did not do much.

Rae Ellen Bichell / KHN

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Rae Ellen Bichell / KHN

Country Jam concert attendees were instructed to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. I did not do much.

Rae Ellen Bichell / KHN

“We were just as weak as everyone else. We had fewer than five cases a day. I think two people were hospitalized at the same time, ”says Kuhr. “I felt like I was out of the woods.”

He also signed up for a country jam, which he calls the “biggest country music party in the state.”

At the beginning of May, however, a delta variant suddenly appeared, in which five adults worked in the school district.

“We started attacking children who were vaccinated,” says Kuhr. “It told me that wearing a mask to school, as you know, did not provide protection with this new variant that it had before.”

Since then, the county has seen landmark cases in elderly residents who have been fully vaccinated in long-term care facilities. The hospital began to fill up again. Nine vaccinated people have died, seven of whom have died since the Delta mutant arrived, but it is still unknown whether the mutant is the cause. All were over 75 years old and 7 lived in long-term care facilities. Kuhr currently estimates that “more than 90%” of the cases in the district are delta variants.

The county sees the same trends as the state. The vast majority of people who test positive for COVID and those who have been hospitalized for COVID are not vaccinated. “If anything, it’s Superspreader stock,” said Eric Topol of the Scripps Research Institute. Scientific American said .. but he said people fully vaccinated with Pfizer and Modana should “not worry at all”. Little information is available about the protection that Johnson & Johnson vaccines offer.

Festivals at hotspots

Mesa County health officials have considered canceling the festival, but “it was really too late,” says Kuhr. About 23,000 people bought tickets after the festival was announced.

Authorities considered banning alcohol or giving attendees a disposable Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the weeks leading up to the festival. In the end, they agreed on the message: a sign that warns people online and at the venue that the area was a COVID hotspot.

According to CDC guidelines, the risk of outdoor events was low. Kur was optimistic about the sporting event that filled the Grand Junction ballpark with only one known case in late May.

“We posted a message on the Country Jam website and then posted a message on our social media page,” Mesa County is a hotspot. Get ready, ”says Kuhr.

Storm Friday weakened attendance at concerts at the Country Jam. On the last day of the festival, however, the sun came out and a herd of concertgoers in cowboy boots roamed the prairie dog houses, kicking up grayish-yellow dust on the way to the venue’s entrance. ..

Many were happy to attend summer events like outdoor festivals and thought this was another sign of the pandemic easing.

“COVID ended in Colorado,” said Ryan Berkeley, a Durango student who was beer pong in the campground’s inflatable pool in front of the gate.

On that day, 39 people in the county were hospitalized with COVID, and the CDC research team only arrived four days ago.

The open field behind the gate was full of stages, shops, cowboy hats, coffee mugs, sellers of hunting clothes, and crowds. Chelsea Son Jeros and her 5 year old daughter joined the scene.

“It’s great to see people’s faces again,” said Sungjaros, who lived in Grand Junction and had a previous illness with COVID. She stated that it was one of the mildest illnesses she had ever experienced, although her senses of taste and smell had not normalized. She tasted the watermelon lazy, the beer tasted like Windex for a while, and her daughter said that Sungjaeros could no longer smell certain flowers.

Sungjaros said he had postponed vaccination pending further studies.

Alicia Knicks, waiting in line at the Daiquiri booth, was one of the few people who wore masks. “It’s over. Some people overcome themselves and take it off,” said Knicks, who is vaccinated. “It’s not over yet.”

With music, beer and dancing, the bus that became a mobile vaccination clinic was empty. A nurse on duty played the Army National Guard and Jenga. Only 6 out of thousands who attended were vaccinated on the bus.

“You can lead the horse to the water, but you cannot feed it,” said Knicks from behind the blue surgical mask.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism on health topics. It is one of the three main operational programs of. KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation).

Delta Variant Hotspot? Participants in these Colorado Music Festivals don’t care: shots

Source link Delta Variant Hotspot? Participants of these Colorado Music Festivals don’t care: shots