December 16 Press Conference Summary
Current COVID-19 Case Numbers in North Dakota: 88,686 total positive cases, 2,956 active confirmed cases, 84,535 recovered, 1,195 deaths
Speakers: Governor Burgum, Molly Howell-NDDoH Immunization Program Manager, Dr. Joshua Wynne-ND Chief Health Strategist, Dr Joan Connell-NDDoH Field Officer, Kirby Kruger- NDDoH Director of Division of Disease Control
Focus: Vaccinations, Rapid Testing (BinaxNOW), and Therapeutic treatments
Additional points of note:
- The safety precautions that were included in vaccine trials were rigorous. In some cases, more rigorous than other drug trials. Result of cutting bureaucratic red tape.
- 6,825 doses of Pfizer vaccine received on Monday.
- 831 of these have been administered in ND.
- Healthcare workers from Sanford and CHI St Alexius were among the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine yesterday
- People with a history of anaphylaxis as a result of receiving vaccinations should not receive the vaccination. All other groups are safe, including pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- Tomorrow, the FDA is meeting to discuss the Moderna vaccine.
- 13,200 doses of Moderna vaccine have been ordered in anticipation of approval.
- Find where you can get vaccinated at https://vaccinefinder.org/
- CHI St Alexius vaccinated a long-term care facility nurse and physician during the press conference
- Even after vaccinating, it is still important to use a mask and social distance.
- Rapid Testing
- Rapid testing allows for getting asymptomatic individuals isolated earlier, which can reduce transmission to others
- In addition to medical and long-term care facilities, businesses and schools have opted to participate in rapid testing.
- Dr. Wynne described what PCR and antigen testing are, the differences in their cost and speed, and the fact that they can be done on-site rather than in a medical facility or at a testing event.
- Rapid testing will be ready to go when college students come back from the holiday break
- Reducing Spread
- Better ventilation reduces spread.
- Distance between people reduces spread.
- Active cases have dropped significantly, and Hospitalization numbers have dropped steadily since mid-November. 5.8% 7-day positivity rate.
- Kirby Kruger described data quality process and updating of the numbers reported, and new standard operating procedures implemented to assure accurate information
- ND has high testing numbers, but the lowest positivity rate (7.3%) in our region (ID, MT, ND, MN, WI, WY, SD, IA, IL, UT, CO, NE, MO).
- Every county has at least 2 active cases.
- ND has highest recovery per in these states.
- Dr. Connell discussed Monoconal Antibody Therapy for high-risk patients who have COVID-19 and other available types of drug therapy that can help people diagnosed with COVID-19.
- The majority of deaths have happened in long-term care facilities.
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