The following is the Conference Health Committee’s update from their February 7 conversation with Disaster Medicine expert, Dr. Wes Wallace:
Unfortunately, we have passed a sad milestone of over 900,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States. We have the highest per-capita death rate from coronavirus of any developed county. Within the North Carolina Conference, although we are seeing our new case numbers drop, we have also experienced a spike in the number of deaths across the state. Our hospitalization rates remain very high and ICU capacity in most hospitals is limited. This continues to affect the ability to deliver emergency care for other emergency needs other than COVID-19.
We now know that mask type has a direct effect on one’s ability to resist the virus. According to the CDC, wearing masks lowered the risk of testing positive from COVID-19 by the following amounts:
- Cloth Mask – 56%
- Surgical Mask – 66%
- N95/KN95 Respirator Mask – 83%.
Masks work and we strongly encourage people meeting in person to wear them. The better the mask, the lower the risk to one’s self and those around you.
We offer a slide from Dr. Wallace’s presentation that speaks to the use and strategy of using rapid testing (those available for home use) as a tool to preclude the spread of COVID.