March 9, 2019
Dear Panther Community,
With many people considering how to approach future travel planning, we wanted to let you know about the CDC's recently updated recommendations as well as some changes you'll start to see in the Panther Health survey.
The CDC continues to advise people not to take trips and has warned that variants now circulating in the United States could cause another surge in cases this month. For example, Florida is currently seeing the highest levels of the more infectious B.1.1.7. Variant.
Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. The transportation you use, type of accommodation you stay in, and the activities you do during travel can increase your risk. Your chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 while traveling also are higher if you come into close contact with others, especially people you don't know, or use shared public facilities like restrooms.
Starting tomorrow, the Panther Health survey will ask if you've been on a trip within the past 10 days that could increase your risking of contracting or spreading COVID-19. Those who answer yes will receive recommendations on testing and staying home.
Vaccine Eligibility update
The state and county expanded vaccine eligibility this week to include those 16 and older with preexisting health conditions. This category includes a wide range of people, including those who are or may be at an increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19, but the Black Hawk County Health Department is asking those in this category to remain patient as the supply of vaccines is still limited.
Last week Black Hawk County reported receiving 2,340 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 2,800 does of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. As of last week, about 62% of Black Hawk County residents 65 and older had been vaccinated.
People in the eligible categories that have been approved are able to receive a vaccine as supplies allow. Visit the Vaccinate Iowa website for links to vaccine providers by location, eligibility timelines, and resources.
Associate Provost for Faculty
Director of Risk Management, Environmental Health and Safety