As our community experiences a downturn in the COVID pandemic and easing of restrictions, we would like to ensure that folks in our parish have the information needed and/or keep the following points in mind to prevent serious illness from SARS-COV-2 infection:
While widespread disease is on the downturn, there may still be “hotspots,” particularly if you travel. Development of a virus variant that is more resistant to vaccine or natural immunity is still possible.
Test kits can be obtained from online sales or from local businesses, such as pharmacies. Free test kits are available at public libraries, although in limited supply at the times of distribution.
Test when you travel, have contact with someone who has tested positive, or when you develop any symptoms typical of COVID (fatigue, fever, chills, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste/smell, headache, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, headache).
If you do not have symptoms, but have been in contact with someone infected with COVID, wait one to two days before testing to get a more accurate result. The CDC advises repeating the testing 5-7 days later.
There are promising antiviral medications with a varying degree of availability, as well as monoclonal antibody treatment, that can help prevent serious disease. It is imperative that they be given within 5 days, preferably less, of testing positive. Know your risk history for potential severe illness from contracting COVID and consult with your doctor to develop a plan.
Of course, masking and distancing in environments with greater potential for infection, especially for those with a higher risk for serious illness, and keeping up to date on vaccinations are important.
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