Maine CDC director says encouraging loved ones to get vaccinated can have an impact
AUGUSTA, Maine – Dr. Nirav Shah is concerned about the increase in the number of COVIDs in Maine in the weeks following Thanksgiving.
“This is concerning,” the Maine CDC director said, shaking his head at a press conference on Wednesday. “I’m not sounding the alarm here. We’ve been raising and phoning them for weeks now.
As the Mainers assess the emotional need to reunite with loved ones, Shah explained how the state copes with an average of seven days for positive COVID PCR tests of 8.9%.
He suggested to Mainers who are considering bringing in family for the holidays to use several tactics to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID among loved ones.
Masking, distancing, home ventilation and pre-show testing are all on the table. But, said Shah, the most important element of protection is the test.
“Have a difficult conversation with people who might come and who are not yet vaccinated, to see if they are ready to be vaccinated,” he said. “Now difficult conversations are difficult, but they can pay off. “
Shah said the holiday gatherings will almost certainly lead to more transmission among the Mainers in the weeks following Thanksgiving.
He reiterated that the most severe COVID cases and hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated.