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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 21, 2021
Haywood County Board of Commissioners Chair Kevin Ensley has tested positive for COVID-19
Haywood County Board of Commissioners Chair Kevin Ensley tested positive for COVID-19 on August 19, 2021.
Ensley is experiencing mild cold-like symptoms and is isolating at home.
Commissioner Ensley was eager to be vaccinated back in March and continues to be a supporter of COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
“Despite experiencing this unfortunate breakthrough case, I believe that vaccination is an important step we can take to getting back to normal with COVID. I’m glad I got vaccinated when I did to help protect myself and my community. I appreciate President Trump and his wife Melania, setting an example in January when they were vaccinated.
We know that COVID vaccines help protect against serious illness and death, so I am grateful to have been vaccinated before testing positive. I am looking forward to a quick recovery and getting back to work as soon as my isolation period ends,” said Ensley.
Ensley also wanted to ask everyone to pray for the flood victims and emergency services workers as we recover.
More about breakthrough cases:
A vaccine breakthrough infection is defined as a positive COVID test or antigen test from a person more than 14 days after they have completed all recommended doses of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the CDC:
Vaccine breakthrough cases are expected. COVID-19 vaccines are effective and are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control. However, no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people. There will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19.
More than 166 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated as of August 9, 2021. Like with other vaccines, vaccine breakthrough cases will occur, even though the vaccines are working as expected. Asymptomatic infections among vaccinated people will also occur.
There is some evidence that vaccination may make illness less severe for those who are vaccinated and still get sick.
Symptomatic individuals who test positive are required to remain in isolation under the following conditions: 1) At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND, 2) At least 24 hours have passed since the last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND 3) Symptoms (like cough and shortness of breath) have improved. Asymptomatic individuals who test positive will be required to remain in quarantine under the following conditions: 1) At least 14 days have passed since their positive test assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.
Haywood County Public Health is working to identify any additional close contacts of Ensley.
The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person infected with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, without wearing a face covering, during the period in which they are contagious. Based on the information provided during contact tracing, county health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed, quarantine, and/or testing.