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Reba McEntire announces breakthrough COVID-19 infection
Country music singer Reba McEntire says she and her boyfriend, Rex Linn, have both tested positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated in what are known as breakthrough infections.
"I just want to say one thing: This has been a hard year, and it's getting rougher again," McEntire said in a recent TikTok live stream, according to Fox News. "You guys, please stay safe. Wear your mask. Do what you have to do. Stay home."
"It's not fun to get this. I did get it. Rex and I got it, and it's not fun. You don't feel good," McEntire said. "We were both vaccinated, and we still got it, so stay safe, stay home and be protected the best you can."
Several lawmakers in recent days have also announced that they tested positive despite being fully vaccinated, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.).
Breakthrough COVID-19 cases still account for an incredibly small number of confirmed cases in the U.S. According to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation in late July, "the rate of breakthrough cases reported among those fully vaccinated is well below 1% in all reporting states" that Kaiser analyzed.
Kaiser also reported that the hospitalization rate among those fully vaccinated was between "effectively zero" percent and .06 percent. The death rate among fully vaccinated people with COVID-19 was even less than that - between zero percent and .01 percent.
However, the rampant spread of the delta variant in unvaccinated communities combined with lower vaccination rates in certain states has complicated efforts to manage the coronavirus pandemic.
President Biden's chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, declared in late July that the pandemic was now an "outbreak among the unvaccinated" despite states' best efforts earlier this year to encourage people to get vaccinated through lotteries and other incentives.
Fauci said earlier this week that the country could see up to 200,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day in the fall.
"If we don't crush the outbreak to the point of getting the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated, then what will happen is the virus will continue to smolder through the fall into the winter, giving it ample chance to get a variant which, quite frankly, we're very lucky that the vaccines that we have now do very well against the variants - particularly against severe illness," Fauci said an interview with McClatchy. "We're very fortunate that that's the case. There could be a variant that's lingering out there that can push aside delta."