With 247,472,724 reported COVID-19 cases as of November 1st 2021, one must wonder how a virus grew to ravage the globe. Community spread is a term we’ve all heard frequently in the last year and a half and it’s a big part of the reason. Read more to learn about community spread and the preventative measures that can be taken against it in the future.
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Community spread through COVID-19
Community spread is the spread of a contagious disease to individuals in a particular geographic location who have had no known contact with other infected individuals or who have not traveled recently to an area where the disease has been documented. COVID-19 was first announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) on January 9th in Wuhan, China. On January 21st the CDC confirmed the first U.S. COVID-19 case and by February 3rd, the U.S. declared a public health emergency. As the world attempted to grasp the scope of this new virus, a troubling new phase began with the February 26th report that a 50-year-old California woman had been infected. Until then, all U.S. cases were due to people who had been in China or had been in contact with others known to be infected, but this woman appears to have been the first case in the U.S. of community spread. As other cases like these emerged in Oregon and Washington and the virus was confirmed in over 50 countries, the World Health Organization announced on February 28th that it had increased its assessment of the risk of spread and impact to “very high” at a global level.
Community spread in Hawaii
Hawaii, being a place built on community, was and continues to be severely impacted by COVID-19. The correlation between over-tourism and rising cases appeared to be a major issue, but in August of 2021, reported data proved otherwise. At a press conference, Governor David Ige stated that current data showed 10-12% of cases were tourism related, with only 1-2% cases coming from visitors. He furthered this by saying, “The overwhelming majority of the cases tied to travel is with residents traveling and getting infected and returning to the islands.”
Preventative measures against community spread in the future
On a high level, there is much research to be done to ensure future virus outbreaks are minimized from the beginning. Each health system must have appropriate equipment and training to deal with such crises and we need to equalize access to healthcare. As an individual, you also play a role in protecting yourself and others. Vaccination, wearing a mask, quarantining if there is the slightest possibility of infection, washing your hands regularly and monitoring your health are all ways to contribute to the overall health of the community. Speaking of protection… Viruses also happen regularly in the digital world. To prevent this, consider switching to HIPAA compliant email instead of traditional email. Paubox Email Suite encrypts any and all outbound email by default, ensuring the privacy of your intended recipient. Our solution is straightforward to use and integrates with Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, or Microsoft Exchange. Emails are delivered directly to your recipients’ inboxes; they don’t need to use portals, plugins, or apps to securely read your message. Stop using snail mail and start using HIPAA compliant email. You could save yourself a million dollars in fines.