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COVID MESSAGE #24
Guest Host: Dr. Mark Jaben, Haywood County Health and Human Services Medical Director
THE NUMBERS, WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NOW, FACE COVERING USE, WHAT ABOUT KIDS, RESOURCES
PEOPLE, NOT NUMBERS
There has been a significant spike in cases and deaths this week. Although much of the surge can be tied to an outbreak in a long term care facility (LTCF), be aware there has also been a marked increase in cases unrelated to that outbreak.
As we’ve seen, this isn’t a virus that only affects older folks. Most of these non-LTCF cases had close contact with an infected person, either someone with symptoms or a person in their pre-symptomatic stage who later developed symptoms. Few have unknown exposure.
Remember a close contact is considered to be within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes and not wearing a face covering. Your best bet is to protect yourself and others by following the guidance above.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
The marked increase in cases has stretched the Health Department’s resources, so it’s taking longer to contact people who test positive. This puts even more emphasis on people isolating themselves as soon as they test, whether or not they have symptoms. Once you test, make a list of anyone you have been in close contact with and let them know you are awaiting test results. If you test positive, notify any close contacts as they would then need to quarantine themselves right away.
Don’t wait on the result to take action. The Health Department WILL contact you, but it’s in the best interest of individual and community health for you to act and stop the spread.
FACE COVERING USE
It’s good to see an increase in public mask-wearing, but there seem to be a lot of noses peeking out over the tops of masks. The nose is ground zero for Covid-19. It’s rich in a receptor called ACE2, which the virus uses to get into cells. As the virus replicates inside the nose and spreads down the respiratory tract and into the lungs, patients may develop various symptoms. Take a look at the attached article for a comprehensive rundown of the most common symptoms and patterns to watch for, as well as information on less typical symptoms that may occur.
WHAT ABOUT KIDS?
We are still learning about COVID-19, even experts. Guidance and information will change as new research comes to light. The attached article describes new insights about kids and coronavirus. It was thought that young children are mostly spared and don’t spread it to others very often. New research shows that infected kids have at least as much coronavirus in their noses and throats as infected adults. They may actually be hosting up to 100 times as much of the virus in their upper respiratory tract. It’s still rare for children to become seriously sickened by the virus, but they may spread it to others at home, or to teachers and school staff when school reopens.
As always, please be sure to check reliable sources for COVID-19 information…and check out Haywood County’s redesigned, user-friendly dashboard!
· Haywood County COVID hotline: 828-356-2019
· NC COVID hotline: 888-892-1162