With the rise of BA.5, what should event planners keep in mind?Expert explanation – Zimo News


At the same time, many organize many summer events, including weddings, birthdays and informal gatherings. What should event planners keep in mind? How do people consider their risk when deciding whether to participate and what precautions to take? What if you have to attend something (such as a business meeting) but don’t want the coronavirus to bring back to your family? What about those who have recovered from the infection? Do they still need to worry about reinfection and disease risk, including long-term Covid-19?

Dr. Leana Wen: BA.5 is now the main variant in the US and many parts of the world. It appears to be the most viral variant to date. It may also be partially immune-evasive, meaning that people who have been vaccinated or who have been infected with Covid-19 may not have much protection against mild or asymptomatic infection.

However, getting vaccinated can prevent serious disease. People who have not been vaccinated should be vaccinated, and people who have not been vaccinated should be vaccinated. Keeping up to date on vaccines will help protect you from the potentially serious consequences of Covid-19, which is ultimately the goal of vaccination.

The cause for concern now is the high levels in many parts of the country. With this transmissible pathogen, the chances of contracting Covid-19 are high in areas where many viruses are circulating.

CNN: Does that mean people should cancel in-person events?

magnifier: After two and a half years of the pandemic, I don’t think it’s reasonable to ask people to continue to forgo weddings, birthdays, and other gatherings. Many people have decided that as long as they are unlikely to get seriously ill from Covid-19, they will not take precautions to avoid it.

On the other hand, many people still desperately want to avoid Covid-19. Event organizers must take into account the wishes of the gatherers.

CNN: If there is a conference, what can people do?

magnifier: First, it must be recognized that whenever people gather together, especially indoors, there is a risk of spreading the coronavirus. This is especially true with highly contagious viruses and with so many around. While you should try to reduce your risk, it is unrealistic to expect that no one will catch the coronavirus at an event.

A few ways to do this, starting with trying to hold a party outdoors. We’ve said this throughout the pandemic, and it’s still true that it’s now far safer to be outdoors than indoors. The coronavirus is airborne, and the more airflow you have, the better.

Ventilation is also important. Partial indoor/outdoor spaces with good ventilation are preferable to fully enclosed spaces. A room with open doors and windows and lots of space is less risky than a small, closed room with everyone crammed into it.

If organizers want to further reduce the risk, they can ask everyone to take a quick home test before the event. Rapid tests aren’t perfect, but they’re very good at detecting whether someone has enough virus at the time to infect others. Providing testing at the door is an added safeguard in case not everyone can get tested beforehand.

Of course, masks can also reduce the spread of the virus. At this point in the pandemic, it’s hard to get people to wear masks when they’re no longer required in most places. I think it’s more realistic to plan for outdoor activities, and if you must be indoors, require a test rather than mandatory wearing of a mask (of course, wearing a mask should be an option for those who need extra protection).

CNN: What advice do you have for people who are immunocompromised or who really want to avoid getting Covid-19?

magnifier: When you are invited to an event, find out what precautions the organizer takes, and then assess the risk accordingly. Outdoor activities, or at least activities where you can be outside all the time, are fairly low risk. Indoor activities that require testing or wearing a mask are also less risky.

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What about crowded indoor events that don’t require testing and masks? A one-way mask with a high-quality mask (N95 or equivalent) is still protective, but your mask should fit snugly and you should always wear it. If you go, consider eating ahead and only remove your mask when outside or alone.

Ultimately, there is no clear answer to whether you should go or not – it depends on how much Covid-19 you want to avoid and the benefits you get from participating.

CNN: If someone gets Covid-19, should they worry about getting it again? What do we know about the risk of long-term Covid reinfection?

magnifier: Reinfection is of course possible. Those with pre-Omicron variants such as Delta or Alpha are easily reinfected with Omicron sub-variants. We’ve even seen people who had the original Omicron variant and now get BA.5 re-infected.

The risk of reinfection is very low during the first two or three months after initial infection, but increases thereafter. People who have previously been infected benefit from vaccinations and booster shots, further reducing their risk of serious illness and infection.

A new study, published online but not yet peer-reviewed, suggests that reinfected people are at higher levels Long-term risks of Covid and other potential consequences of each infection. The results are likely to prompt some to say they want to avoid reinfection as much as possible.

CNN: Many people have to travel for meetings, conferences and other professional events. What advice do you have if they don’t want to bring Covid-19 home with them?

magnifier: There are two options. One is to minimize their risk when traveling and performing these functions, including limiting time indoors with others, wearing masks during all interactions indoors, and avoiding food and drink activities indoors — or at least wearing them Masks eat and drink separately in other places during these events.

The second option is to assume that you will be exposed and potentially infected with Covid-19 during these job functions, then isolate and test yourself before interacting with family members. Not everyone can do this – maybe they have young children or other family responsibilities – but it’s another option that may work for some.

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