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July 2022 COVID-19 Updates

NATIONAL MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it harder for racial and ethnic minority groups to access mental health services. National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is observed every July to recognize the unique challenges racial and ethnic minority communities face regarding mental illness in the United States. Mental Health America has a free toolkit that you can download with information and resources for specific Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

 

FEDERAL UPDATE

The Novavax Vaccine Under FDA Review

The Novavax vaccine is a two-dose, protein-based COVID-19 vaccine for adults aged 18 and older. The vaccine is being used in over 40 countries; however, it is not currently available in the United States. On June 7, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee voted to recommend emergency use authorization, and the vaccine is currently under review by the FDA. Pending FDA and CDC recommendations, Novavax may become the fourth COVID-19 vaccine available in the U.S., in addition to Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

 

STATE UPDATES

Health Effects and Views of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i

A new report from the University of Hawai‘i Economic Research Organization (UHERO) shows the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Hawai‘i residents. Learn more about the significant impact the pandemic has had on mental health, food security, job security, housing, poverty, and more. Read the full report.

Hawai‘i Ranked First Nationally for COVID-19 Response

The impact of COVID-19 varied by state, however, Hawai‘i has ranked first in overall  COVID-19 performance in the 2022 State Scorecard rankings, an assessment by the Commonwealth Fund. The assessment evaluated overall performance across 56 measures of health care access and quality, service use and cost, health disparities, and health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

HIGH COVID-19 Community Level 

In comparison to last week, data shows a decrease in the 7-day average of new COVID-19 cases but Community Levels remain high in all counties. Recommended actions for high COVID-19 community levels:

  • Wear a mask indoors in public and on public transportation.
  • Avoid large gatherings.
  • Stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms.
  • If you are at high risk for severe illness, practice social distancing and good hygiene, avoid poorly ventilated locations, and monitor your health daily in addition to the above actions.

You may view the CDC COVID-19 Community Level tool by clicking here.

STATEWIDE RESOURCES

10 Reasons To Vaccinate Your 5 & Under Child for COVID-19 as Soon as Possible

The authorization for COVID-19 vaccines to be given to keiki ages six months to five years comes at a critical time, as Omicron’s sub variants continue to fuel a rise in cases. Read ten reasons to consider when thinking about vaccinating children six months and older.

 

Public Health On Call: NBA and COVID-19

Dr. Christina Mack, an epidemiologist with IQVIA Real World Solutions, talks with Dr. Josh Sharfstein about how the NBA used data to create a “bubble” and how they continue to monitor the health and safety of players and staff. They also discuss some of the findings that have real-world implications such as the infectiousness of COVID-19, if people with asymptomatic infections are less likely to transmit the virus, and whether boosters really work. Learn more by listening to the podcast!

 

COVID-19 Lesson: Importance of Demographic Data

COVID-19 is still a relatively new virus, and has revealed a need for detailed demographic data to be publicly available. There are no standards for categorizing demographic data, so individual decisions to label categories with similar but different names, such as “Hawaiian” vs. “Hawaiian/Pacific Islander,” complicates the data. Read more on how detailed demographic data would help the scientific community.

 

Actions for Employers to Get Ahead of a New COVID-19 Surge

As COVID-19 Community Levels remain high, employers can learn how to be ready for a surge in cases. View employer recommendations by clicking here.

COUNTY UPDATES

Kaua‘i County

The Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank has food distributions every second and fourth Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Learn more at kauaifoodbank.org or call (808) 246-3809.

On Kaua‘i, vaccines for keiki under 5 will be available at Wilcox Medical Center, Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital (KVMH), Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, and Ho‘ola Lahui. Current clinic dates:

Wilcox (Kaua‘i Medical Clinic – Pediatrics) (Pfizer)

  • Saturday, July 16th  8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 6th  8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 27th  8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Appointments are required: wilcoxhealth.org/vaccine

Kaiser Permanente Lihue Clinic

  • Open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., closed 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Walk-ins are accepted, or make an appointment by clicking here.
  • If you are having trouble making an appointment online, please call 808-432-2000, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • You do NOT need to be a member of Kaiser Permanente to get vaccinated.

Ho‘ola Lahui (Moderna)

  • Starting on Wednesday, July 13 – every Wednesday in Waimea, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Beginning Thursday, July 14 – every Thursday in Kapaa,  1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • No walk-ins are accepted; for an appointment call 808-938-0938.

 

For more information on vaccine clinics on Kaua‘i, visit kauai.gov/vaccine.

 

Hawai‘i County

Bay Clinic and KTA Puainako Pharmacy are now vaccinating keiki under five! Learn more at bayclinic.organd ktasuperstores.com/pharmacy-covid-19-vaccinations.

PUBLIC HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK

When should you use a COVID-19 self-test kit?

  • If you have had COVID-19 in the past 90 days, you DO NOT need to be tested unless you have new symptoms.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, self-isolate away from others and get tested as soon as possible.
  • If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, take your test at least five days after exposure.
  • Consider testing before attending an indoor event or gathering.

 

If you have not done so already, you may get FREE at-home test kits at COVID.gov/tests.

You may receive COVID-19 testing additional guidance by visiting HawaiiCOVID19.com.

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