January is proving to be one of the hardest months we’ve seen throughout the pandemic here in Union County. Union County is experiencing the greatest surge in COVID disease activity at any point in the pandemic. With nearly 1,100 new cases reported Jan. 8-14, 2022, our seven day moving case rate is now more than 1,800 new cases per 100,000 people. In comparison, one of the largest peaks for Union County previously saw a rate of about 800 new cases per 100,000 people. Positivity rates are also up considerably with about 40% of tests resulting in a positive. (Source: CDC COVID Data Tracker)
Hospitalization data among Union County residents continues to be manually scrubbed by our data team and is not complete enough for release at this time. During this current surge, all available resources have been diverted to testing and disease interviewing, resulting in limited local data analysis at this time.
According to data from the Ohio Hospital Association COVID dashboard for Central Ohio hospitals, we are seeing more people hospitalized than at any point previously in the pandemic. ICU admissions are also significantly elevated with ICU admissions hovering just below previously seen high points. Hospital admissions are highest in the 60-69 age group, but are seeing sharp increases in all age groups.
Get Your Booster
COVID-19 booster doses are now recommended for ages 12 and older. Pfizer and Moderna now recommend a booster dose five or months after completion of the primary series. Johnson & Johnson recommends a booster dose two or more months after initial dose.
UCHD continues to offer COVID vaccinations Monday-Friday in our office. Appointments can be booked online at www.uchdclinic.org. Please select the location drop down labeled “Pediatric” when booking appointments for 5-11 year olds. 12 and older can be vaccinated at adult clinics. A parent or guardian must accompany a patient under age 18.
Due to the surge in cases and limited home test kit supply, we have expanded drive thru PCR testing. Drive thru PCR testing at the Union County Fairgrounds is available Tuesday, Jan. 18 through Friday, Jan. 21 from 9a-Noon. Appointments are strongly encouraged and can be booked online at www.unioncountycovid.org/testing. Drive ups without appointment may be limited due to demand. This test takes 24-48 hours to result.
We are still out-of-stock of COVID home test kits as the State of Ohio and nation is experiencing a shortage. The Ohio Department of Health has announced test kits will be prioritized to K-12 schools and colleges during this shortage.
Quarantine & Isolation: Latest Guidance
POSITIVE FOR COVID
If you are positive for COVID or having symptoms and living in a home with someone who is COVID positive, please stay home. Stay home for at least 5 days. Count the day symptoms began as day 0 and stay home the next five days.
- IF still feeling sick and/or still have a fever, continue to stay home. You should not leave home until you are significantly improved AND have had no fever for the past 24 hours. Once you meet this criteria, wear a mask when around others until 10 days have passed from when your symptoms started (or date of positive test if no symptoms).
- IF feeling well or had no symptoms or incredibly minor symptoms, you can return to activities but need to wear a mask until 10 days have passed from when your symptoms started (or date of positive test if no symptoms).
If you are severely ill and require hospital care, may need to stay home longer (at least 10 days and possibly 20 days).
EXPOSED TO COVID
If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home for at least five days after last contact with the person. If no symptoms develop after five days have passed, you can return to activities on day 6 while wearing a mask when around others until 10 days have passed from the time of exposure. If you develop symptoms at any point in the 10 days following exposure, test if able, and stay home. If you live in the home with someone who has COVID, separate as much as possible, or exposure is ongoing for 10 days from the time the COVID positive person developed symptoms.
If you are up-to-date on your COVID vaccination AND are not having symptoms, you do not have to stay home. You are strongly encouraged to wear a mask for 10 days from last exposure and monitor for symptoms. If symptoms develop, stay home and test if able. CDC defines up-to-date on COVID vaccination as receiving a booster shot OR completing the Pfizer or Moderna series within the past six months OR receiving an initial Johnson & Johnson shot within the past two months.
See full CDC guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html