Katz Expects "Relaxing Summer" as Coronavirus Infections Drop
Dr. Louis Katz will keep a close eye on local COVID-19 statistics over the summer.
The Medical Director of the Scott County Health Department says the number of cases in the Quad Cities has been falling, and the number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus has also dropped.
Still, Michelle O'Neill reports Katz continues to encourage everyone who's eligible to get vaccinated.
Dr. Katz is very reluctant to even hint that soon, the Quad Cities might be "outta the woods" when it comes to COVID-19. Yes, he's pleased the number of cases in Scott County has dropped to less than five per 100,000 people, an important threshold for the infectious disease physician. And he's glad 44% of Scott County's population is fully vaccinated.
But Katz cautions those who haven't been vaccinated to wear a mask, social distance, and keep following all the CDC guidelines. Here's one glimmer of hope. For the first time during the pandemic, Katz says there was no surge in case counts after the most recent holiday, Memorial Day. He'd be even more pleased if Independence Day comes and goes without a surge.
For those who choose not be vaccinated, Katz says it's not wise just to hope that if you catch COVID-19, you'll develop immunity. He says treatments aren't very effective, and immunization from vaccination may be stronger than immunization from infection. That will be one of the keys to preventing the spread of coronavirus variants in the months to come.
He also encourages the unvaccinated to be kind and think of others, especially since COVID-19 is 5 to 10 times more fatal than the flu. And in his "evidence-based opinion," safety concerns should not prevent people from being immunized.
The number of COVID-19 in-patients in Quad Cities hospitals has fallen to single digits -- two Rock Island County resident and five Scott County residents. Dr. Katz says he's only recently seen numbers from Genesis and UnityPoint Health hospitals that convince him of a sustainable drop in COVID-19 inpatients.