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A COVID Projection for Summer – and TAG Advice

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A COVID Projection for Summer – and TAG Advice

Key Points:

Key Points:

Recommendations for Industry

A COVID Projection for Summer – and TAG Advice

Although the first months of 2021 saw a rapid decline in COVID-19 in the US, cases began increasing again in March and early April despite vaccinations as the nation saw a spread of variants and relaxation of preventive strategies, i.e., nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs).

Now, data from six models of a new MMWR report issued May 5 indicate that low NPI adherence could lead to substantial increases in severe COVID-19 outcomes, even with improved vaccination coverage.

Even moderate reductions in NPI adherence were shown to undermine vaccination-related gains in the next 2–3 months, while decreased NPI adherence was projected to lead to surges in hospitalizations and deaths. With all the models attributing increased transmission in many parts of the US to the relaxation of mitigation strategies and the increasing prevalence of more transmissible variants, the study projects that the variants will drive continued increases in case counts in the coming months – potentially negating recent gains in transmission control. (See Table: COVID-19 projection scenarios on page 2 of the report for the full breakdown.)

Based on these findings, high vaccination coverage and compliance with NPIs and public health messaging to encourage both are seen as essential to control the pandemic and prevent increases in related hospitalizations and deaths in the coming months. If this is done, projections would see sharp decreases in COVID cases by the end of July.

TAG’s Take. For businesses, TAG sees this as carefully bridging all of this to bring about the substantial business recovery we all hope to see in 2021. We need to traverse where we are today with where we hope to be by fall taking into consideration vaccination rates, as well as facility factors as discussed below and in TAG’s April 26 newsletter to work through the safe reduction of NPIs/protective strategies.

Although there is significant scientific evidence of the airborne transmission of COVID-19 through the breathing of shared indoor air, none of the public health organizations published comprehensive safety guidelines incorporating all the relevant variables. To remedy this, MIT scientists developed an app to calculate safe exposure times and occupancy levels for indoor spaces. The app includes calculation of the following key variables:

  • The volume of a room with amount of outside and recirculated air , including MERV filtration levels, and relative humidity
  • Percent vaccinated in the population that will be using the space)
  • Mask usage and level of mask filtration

While it provides a good basis for determining safe levels, there is some complexity to working through the calculations of the app. But TAG can help – give us a call for assistance with that and other aspects of setting best practices for the continued protection of your workers and your business.

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