The COVID-19 Pandemic: The Latest Information
I have been keeping up with updates coming out from contacts I have in the world of public health, specifically those concerned with Covid and the variant. For those interested and for those traveling abroad you may find these updates of interest.
On September 21, 2021, the U.S. Government SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group (SIG) added a new variant classification designated Variants Being Monitored (VBM).
VBM may include variants previously designated as a Variant of Interest (VOI) or Variant of Concern (VOC) that are no longer detected or are circulating at very low levels in the United States. VBM may also include variants designated by other organizational committees (e.g., WHO Technical Advisory Group for SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution) that have substitutions of concern but that have not been deemed a public health threat within the United States by the SIG at this time.
In general, to be classified as a VBM, there are laboratory data indicating that antibodies elicited during previous infection or vaccination have reduced neutralization activity against the variant or the variant has reduced susceptibility to FDA authorized monoclonal antibody treatments. VBM may also include variants that have been associated with more severe disease or increased transmission.
As of September 21, 2021, the following variants are classified as VBM:
- Alpha (B.1.1.7, Q.1-Q.8)
- Beta (B.1.351, B.1.351.2, B.1.351.3)
- Gamma (P.1, P.1.1, P.1.2)
- Epsilon (B.1.427, B.1.429)
- Eta (B.1.525)
- Iota (B.1.526)
- Kappa (B.1.617.1)
- Mu (B.1.621, B.1.621.1)
- Zeta (P.2)
Due to their very low prevalence in the United States, these variants do not pose a significant and imminent risk to public health in the United States. CDC will continue to monitor these variants closely to identify changes in their proportions. If a VBM warrants more concern, the classification will be changed based on the SIG assessment of the attributes of the variant and the risk to public health in the United States.
Please share this message with your networks and invite them to opt in to LOCS to receive future updates.
- Information for Laboratories about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Frequently Asked Questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Laboratories
- CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Website
- CDC Laboratory Outreach Communication System (LOCS)
- Clinical Laboratory COVID-19 Response Calls
Laboratory Outreach Communication System (LOCS) | Division of Laboratory Systems (DLS)
Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services (CSELS)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Numbers: As of Monday, 24 May 2021, New Hampshire has reported 98,349 COVID-19 cases. Of those cases, 96,594 patients recovered. There have been 1,344 deaths in the state. Presently, there are 411 active cases. 48 people were hospitalized as of 24 May. The seven-day test positivity rate is currently 2.4 percent.
- On 24 May, 52 new cases were announced. DHHS reports that the weekly average of new cases is 107 a 29% decrease from the previous week. There were no new deaths reported on 24 May.
- State officials report that about 46.1 percent of the state is fully vaccinated, an increase of 1.9 percent from last week.
- Despite state changes regarding travel for vaccinated individuals, mask mandates and other issues, the CDC, OSHA, ADA and state DHHS continue to agree that dental offices must remain committed to the safety and infection control protocols put into place in May 2020.
Our office is continuing to update our patient vaccination records, and once your vaccination documentation is scanned into your chart, we will no longer ask the screening questions. We still ask all patients to wear masks in and out of the building and to use the hand sanitizer at the door. We will continue to monitor body temperature at each visit.
We continue to fog all rooms after appointments with Hypochlorous Acid (200 ppm) and of course use the most potent disinfectants for surfaces. Our Medify Air Purification systems as well as our central air filtration system is regularly inspected, and filters changed every 1500 hours. This is far from over. We will make lemonade out of lemons…stay informed, keep your masks on, and be safe. Sincerely, Dr Lyford