Memorial Day 1 year later: Are we safe from COVID-19 yet?

Last year, COVID-19 had free range; This year, more people have immunity with vaccines

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – As we head into the Memorial Day holiday weekend, this year things seem to be coming back to some sense of normalcy; with more than 50% of the U.S. population vaccinated and mask mandates no longer in effect. But where are we in terms of safety?

“Last year at this time we had a very small number of people that had any immunity,” Dr. Todd Husty, Seminole County’s medical director said. “I mean that meant this thing had free-range, it was really easy; the next person that walked by is somebody without immunity and the next person and the next person.

Out of about 10 people, three had immunity this time last year, estimates Husty.

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Twelve months ago the world was clinging to hope for a vaccine against COVID-19. Fast forward to Memorial Day weekend 2021 and more than half of the U.S. population has been vaccinated with at least one shot.

“We are at a much lower risk than we were before when we had a handful of people that had had the disease that’s all the immunity that was out there. It was like one out of 100 people had immunity. Now we are probably at 70 out of 100 people have some immunity,”Husty said.

And more people with immunity means it makes it harder for COVID-19 to spread and multiply.

“I think those of us that work with this all the time are not as worried about Memorial Day this time because of all the vaccinations and you have to include in the people that have already had COVID. So, you add those two together and it might be 70% of our population has some immunity at this point,” Husty said.

At the time of May 27th, 2020, Florida’s Department of Health reported 613 new cases with a positivity rate of 3.16%.On May 26, 2021, the number of cases may have increased to 2,341 but the positivity rate is almost the same with 3.06%.

Husty added there’s still a small chance those who are vaccinated or had the disease can still get the virus.

“We shouldn’t let our guard down all the way,” Husty said. “I mean, it’s still around.”

About the Author:

Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.