Pat Hughes, Mineral County Emergency Management Director, gave a report to the board of County Commissioners on the status of the COVID pandemic as of Nov. 3.
He said in working with deputy county health officer Christina Boyles over the weekend, for the month of October there were 391 new COVID cases. In 64 of the cases, individuals who had been previously fully vaccinated did come down with COVID. Those are referred to as “breakthrough cases.”
Hughes said, “45 of those had been vaccinated with Moderna, 13 with Pfizer and six with J&J.”
He noted that the numbers were higher for Moderna than Pfizer because “probably twice or two-and-a half more people got the Moderna vaccine as opposed to Pfizer or J&J.”
He said the first breakthrough case was in May of 2021 and the average number of days between being fully vaccinated and still getting infected is about 190 days, or 6.3 months. “In most cases,” he noted, “a breakthrough case happened within four to five months.”
Mineral County has had 31 breakthrough cases, Hughes reported. “We have had three since the beginning of November.”
In November, 2020 Mineral County had 124 COVID cases, but now a year later, Hughes said, “We have only three cases and I hope there is a downward trend that will continue.”
However, numbers change daily and those figures may not be accurate as of this week.
Hughes noted to the commission board that Pfizer vaccines for kids ages 5-11, have been FDA approved. “It’s a much smaller dose, about a third of an adult dose.” He said the first shipment of 100 doses of pediatric vaccine was expected to arrive Nov. 5.
There has not been any community testing recently Hughes noted, however appointments can be made at the County Health Nurse’s office.
In regards to booster doses, Hughes said, “All three vaccines have been approved for use. It is my understanding you are still limited to booster doses for underlying conditions, but I see that changing rapidly.
The CDC and state of Nevada have issued notices that a person can mix and match booster doses from the different vaccines. In other words Hughes explained, “if you had a Moderna vaccine, you can get a booster dose with a Pfizer or J&J vaccine.”
Also, a person is advised that the last dose you had with a primary vaccine should be at least two months before you have a booster dose from a different vaccine.
Community testing is seeking to move the program director to Hughes’ office and he hoped all would be ready to go to start testing by Nov. 22 at the latest.
He said, “An on-board site staff training session will be held, with extra training for those who will be administering the tests.” Testing kits have already been received in his office. “We got even more than was requested.” He added, “We also want to get the shed moved over to the fire department and do that soon to get things set up.”