Health Council Discusses COVID-19

The Upper Cumberland Health Council met in a virtual meeting with health professionals across the region to discuss the regional situation surrounding COVID-19.

Upper Cumberland Regional Medical Director Dr. Don Grisham shared a presentation with information concerning COVID-19.

According to Grisham, there has been a jump of 75% in the last 2 weeks with every state having new surges.

Positivity rates should be below 5% but currently all 14 counties in the Upper Cumberland are above 10% in positivity rates with four counties being around 20% putting them all in the RED ZONE.

He explained that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be available soon for those at high risk of such as the elderly and health care workers.

According to Grisham, the vaccine is proven to be 90% effective.

It will consist of two shots given three weeks apart. If you are exposed, it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to begin to present themselves.

He said the best protection we have is wearing a mask, hand sanitizing and washing and staying at least six feet apart.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated guidelines were also discussed for isolation and quarantine times.

According to the CDC, quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others.

Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19—excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past three months.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to three months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.

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