As we return to a sense of pre-pandemic life, new variants and breakthrough cases are emerging.
In the Lake Cumberland area, the district health department reports a 70% increase in cases just this week.
Lake Cumberland District Health Department executive director Amy Tomlinson says life’s become a balancing act. She says they’re simultaneously navigating a return normalcy and precaution.
“People are out and about more, and traveling, and vacationing, and doing things that we haven’t been able to do or haven’t dared to do until this time,” Tomlinson says.
Tomlinson says there’ve been a sharp rise in cases over the last few weeks. In the past 7 days, she reports a 70 percent increase.
“I’m concerned for the increasing numbers,” Tomlinson says. “It makes more work for our staff, it means more people are sick and not feeling well.”
Tomlinson attributes many of these cases to the new Delta variant. She says there’s also been breakthrough cases. Tomlinson explains 17% of positive results are from people who’ve had at least one dose of the vaccine. To be considered a breakthrough case though, a person who tests positive must be fully vaccinated with enough time after their last dose to build immunity.
Some good news: At this point, Tomlinson says hospitalizations have not gone up. Her advice for the community to keep numbers down is to get vaccinated.
“The purpose of it is to keep you from getting as sick. We don’t want to surge our hospitals, we don’t want to have people that end up debilitated or extremely sick,” Tomlinson says.
Tomlinson says the health department is continuing with vaccination outreach. She shares they have a mobile vaccine unit that can travel and bring shots directly to large groups.