University of São Paulo: Pandemic situation improves, but use of masks remains mandatory at USP

Data from the most recent complete epidemiological week (April 3 to 9) show that the situation of the covid-19 pandemic in the State of São Paulo continues to improve. All indicators continue to fall, compared to the previous week: new cases (-16%), new hospitalizations (-16%) and deaths (-41%). The daily average of deaths from covid-19 in the state is 32 and the occupancy rate of ICU beds is 21%. Excluding the effect of carnival on the epidemiological surveillance notification system, which led to an increase in cases and deaths reported in week 10, these indicators have been falling in the state since the beginning of February — even after the easing of rules on use of masks in closed places, in force since March 17.

The numbers are detailed in this week ‘s USP-Covid Epidemiological Bulletin , which is based on official data compiled by the Scientific Committee that advises the state government in dealing with the pandemic.

Experts attribute the improvement to successful vaccination progression. More than 92% of the population over 5 years of age in the state has already had a complete vaccination schedule, including 47% of children up to 11 years of age, and about 65% of the adult population has already taken the booster dose. Vaccines do not prevent people from becoming infected with the virus, but they do reduce the risk of transmission and the occurrence of serious illness.

about the masks
Despite the consistent improvement, the use of masks remains mandatory in public transport and in health services, by determination of the State, and in all closed environments of USP, on the recommendation of the Health Advisory Commission of the Rectory. The justification for this is that academic activities require students to remain close to each other for long periods in closed environments, which favors the transmission of the virus – the same logic that the State uses to maintain mandatory public transport, inside trains and buses.

The USP Health Advisory Commission discussed the topic this Wednesday, April 13, and decided to keep masks mandatory in closed environments for now. The rule will be re-evaluated in the coming weeks. The use of masks is also recommended in open environments on campuses, whenever there is a greater concentration of people.

The commission also chose to increase the limit on the occupancy rate of the university cafeterias to 75%, since these places are the only option for food for most students, and that no outbreak of covid-19 transmission has been detected in as a result of the use of these environments until now.

It is worth remembering that only vaccinated people are allowed to attend the University and that the booster dose provides additional protection. If you are 18 years of age or older and have not yet taken your booster dose, do not waste time and look for a basic health unit. Those aged 60 or over can now take the second booster dose against covid-19, and also the vaccine against the influenza virus (flu).

Comments are closed.