(NewMediaWire) - March 04, 2021 - DALLAS - As vaccinations roll out and pandemic protocols in some states are changing or relaxing, the American Heart Association — the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to a world of longer, healthier lives — reiterates the need for basic pandemic safety protocols to continue.

The following statement reflects the views of the Association:

“The health and safety of people and their families is always the American Heart Association’s top priority.

While progress is being made in response to the pandemic – with respect  to the decrease in new infections and an acceleration of the number of vaccinations given –  the situation remains very serious in the United States and elsewhere, with more than 28 million cases and more than 513,000 deaths in the U.S. alone (as of March 2, 2021). Vaccinations are rolling out slower than all had hoped. There continues to be tens of thousands of new cases every day and many people are suffering from difficult long-term effects after “recovering” from COVID-19 in the past. People with underlying health conditions, including our heart and stroke survivors and those with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, are among those at highest risk of complications and death from COVID-19. The pandemic continues to have devastating consequences across the country in urban, suburban and rural areas impacting far too many individuals and families, with a disproportionate effect on communities of color, historically under-resourced neighborhoods and essential workers. These are the facts.

To help protect yourself and those around you, we urge everyone to take personal responsibility and continue to follow the science and the fact-based “3 W” recommendations to slow the spread of the virus. First and foremost, Wear a Mask, Watch Your Distance (social distance at least 6 feet), and Wash Your Hands (or use hand sanitizer, if water and soap aren’t available). We urge everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to them to help keep themselves, their families and their community healthy and safe. We also urge states, cities, towns and businesses to listen to public health experts, support the science-based recommendations proven to save lives and continue to keep COVID safety measures in place, including mask wearing and social distancing requirements, until most Americans have had their chance to receive the vaccine. These efforts will stop the spread and allow us all to return to normal.

Together with our medical experts and community leaders, the American Heart Association will continue the hard work to end this pandemic, consistent with our mission to be a relentless force for longer, healthier lives.”

Additional resources:

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For Media Inquiries:

Suzanne Grant: 214-706-1173; Suzanne.Grant@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org