One June 19th the average daily cases in the United States was 11,479 cases. As of today, that average is at 90,000 cases per day, nearly a 9 fold increase in a month and half. This can be directly attributed to the delta variant, which is much more contagious than the original virus. This is once again beginning to strain our health systems. Front line workers are burnt out, the last 18 months has been a relentless battle to control a novel virus. All of 2020, minus 2 weeks, was spent without an available vaccine, which left us defending the virus with masks, PPE and social distancing. We are now 8 months into vaccine availability, yet we find ourselves still trying to make sense of new masking guidance and potential vaccine mandates. All of this at a time when many of us will be sending our children back to school in the coming weeks. What I want to stress is this: we don’t have to be here. This is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated. The vaccine is saving lives. It’s true that there are break through cases, but it’s also true those people aren’t dying or needing hospitalization. Even if you have had the virus previously, the CDC recommends you still get the vaccine.
Early in 2021 the Bemidji Area as a whole saw a steady growth of daily vaccines administered, peaking at 1,550 doses/day on March 24th between all of the I/T/U sites. As of today, the number of combined vaccine doses being administered across our region (from Michigan to Minnesota) is 75. The chart below illustrates this: