COVID-19 cases are rising again. In early August, there were over 300 people in Maryland hospitalized with the disease, per The Washington Post. June and July figures were often below 100.
Salisbury University thrived during the height of the pandemic. Positivity rates remained below 2% throughout the 2020-21 academic year, as previously reported by The Flyer.
However, the more contagious and deadly Delta variant now accounts for more than 90% of COVID-19 cases in the US, per Healthline.
In order to prevent an outbreak of this variant at SU, two crucial defenses must be maintained.
First, everyone who can get vaccinated should get vaccinated. So far, the vaccination rate of SU’s community members has risen above 90%, according to SU Student Affairs.
The higher the inoculation rate, the higher the defense against a community outbreak of the Delta variant.
The Pfizer vaccine is still over 90% effective at preventing severe disease from the variant, per Consumer News and Business Channel News.
Second, everyone should continue to wear their masks and social distance in designated areas on campus. This is important for those who have a registered exemption from becoming vaccinated in order to protect themselves and others.
The Delta variant has shown that not all masks are created equal.
The N95 respirator mask was found to filter at least 95% of airborne particulates. Experts recommend the mask to those vulnerable to COVID-19, per The Washington Post.
Those who currently rely on cloth and surgical masks should consider upgrading to the N95.
Delta’s arrival to the United States is no reason to panic. This is an opportunity for the SU community to continue fostering a safe and thriving campus environment during COVID-19.
By JACOB BEAVER
Photo courtesy of Salisbury University Public Relations