COVID spikes; flu a concern
COVID-19 cases in Marion County spiked dramatically after Thanksgiving.
That’s not surprising, county health director Krista Schneider said.
Families and friends got together. Some traveled. Most mingled with germ factories otherwise known as children.
“We currently have 65 active cases,” Schneider said Friday. “This number does not account for positive home tests, only those reported through a laboratory such as a hospital or clinic.”
The department recommends that if you test positive, you should:
- Stay home and isolate for at least five full days.
- End isolation on Day 6 if your symptoms are improving and you’ve been fever-free without using fever-reducing medication for 24 hours.
- Continue to wear a mask around others through the 10th day.
- Wear a mask and watch for symptoms if you’ve had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID.
- Take a test five days after your exposure — sooner if you develop symptoms.
Nearly 6,000 people have completed a primary series of vaccinations in the county, a rate of 52%.
As of Friday, the health department had administered 542 vaccines since it began giving the bivalent booster Sept. 19.
The department offers COVID vaccine by appointment Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Influenza A is a big concern for the county, Schneider said, and people can have COVID and flu at the same time.
Schneider said it was unlikely she would recommend enforcing a mask mandate.
That’s because it’s unlikely COVID will “go away” anytime soon.
“The United States has experienced a pandemic before, just not during any of our lifetimes,” she said. “The Spanish Flu of 1918 caused an estimated 50 million deaths in the world and 675,000 in the United States. Masks and quarantines were also used during the Spanish Flu.”