What You Need to Know-Week of March 7th

The most important weekly updates for you to keep your community healthy




In this Update:

1. Urgent Updates: COVID-19 Metrics

2. Information You Need: What we know about immunity

3. Quick Question: What is the consensus on wearing cloth face coverings?




1. Urgent Updates: COVID-19 Metrics


Updated as of: 03-07-2022

Weekly case, death, and hospitalization counts:

In the past week, there has been an average of:
Cases per day1,299
Deaths per day22
Compared to two weeks ago:
Cases per dayDecreased by 41%↘
Deaths per day Decreased by 45%↘
Hospitalizations per day Decreased by 72% ↘

For a breakdown of vaccination by Arizona counties, visit the CDC’s website.

For updated vaccine information and data in Arizona, visit this link and click on the “Vaccine Administration” icon.



2. Information You Need: What we know about immunity


Immunity is a tricky subject and one that is difficult to make concrete inferences about because of the variability in immune response from person to person. Prior to the widespread transmission of the Omicron variant, the relationship between prior infection, vaccination and infection seemed more straightforward. Omicron reopened many questions about immunity due to its ability to cause reinfection in individuals who had COVID-19 previously or to cause infection even amongst those who were fully vaccinated and boosted. One thing that is more certain is reinfection in the two months following an infection is unlikely for most non-immunocompromised groups. We now know that new variants could change the risk of infection post-vaccination and post-infection. Once you have been infected with one variant, it does not mean you have immunity to the others. In addition, most evidence indicates immunity wanes over time, meaning even if it is the same variant, reinfection could be possible if enough time has passed.    

While the specifics of SARS-CoV-2 immunity remain unclear it is important to remember to take essential precautions to protect yourself and those around you. While CDC is dropping mask requirements when local transmission is medium or lower, you can still protect yourself and your loved ones, especially those who are unvaccinated or immunocompromised, by wearing a mask in public indoor spaces, and getting boosted when you are eligible. A booster vaccine dose provides higher protection than the initial one (J&J) or two-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna) against becoming infected, but most importantly against severe disease and death. 


3. Quick Question: What is the consensus on wearing cloth face coverings?


Now that many people are no longer wearing masks, what is the best way to maximize your individual protection? This is especially important if you or a family member are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed. Continuing to wear a mask in indoor public spaces is important while transmission is still relatively high. The overall consensus is that cloth face masks are not enough on their own – especially against the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Cloth face coverings are usually loosely woven and thus do not offer strong protection against the very small viral particles that can cause COVID-19. KN95 and N95 masks are made from polypropylene fibers, which can better prevent spreading of small virus particles. These mask types are much more effective than a cloth mask alone, and those are recommended instead. 

However, you do not necessarily have to discard your cloth masks altogether – another option is to layer masks. A cloth face covering layered over a surgical mask or KN95 can be used to provide additional protection as well. 

Aside from the mask type, the way it fits is arguably the most important factor. If a mask is loose or has any gaps around your face, it is highly ineffective. Ensuring that your mask is well fitted is essential to how well the mask works, for yourself and for others. Finally, as a reminder – avoid any masks with valves or vents as those also reduce effectiveness. In our previous update, we discussed some additional tips for ensuring the effectiveness of your face mask. 




If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to COVID-19 in Arizona, please complete next week’s AZCOVIDTXT survey that you will receive via text in about a week.

View Updates from Past Weeks:
Update from week of February 28 (English | Spanish)
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