A message from the Haywood County Health Department Medical Director —
Here is what this spike in Covid cases tells us.
First, if you doubted the virus is around, it’s clear now that it is.
Second, this reinforces the necessity of isolating yourself immediately if you start to get suggestive symptoms or quarantining for a significant exposure, defined as contact with someone with symptoms within 6 feet for longer than 30 minutes without any protective gear, like a mask. (Note the recommendation for this time frame changed this week.)
In cases 1-5, these individuals isolated themselves when symptoms developed.
Because of that, they had very few contacts, all of whom could be traced. None turned out to be positive. These infections were contained.
However, with the cases this week, the same is not true. These individuals did not isolate once they got sick, which makes tracking, tracing, and testing everyone who had a significant exposure difficult and likely not possible.
I think we have to assume others have been exposed now too. What this means for the next few weeks is anyone’s guess, but I think we can expect an increase in cases over at least the next 2-3 weeks and longer if each of us does not do our part to tamp this down right now.
If this changes anything, it should reinforce the commitment to follow the recommended public health measures- good handwashing, social distancing and avoiding crowds, wearing a mask, and disinfecting frequently used surfaces. As the virus increases in the community, we need more of this to keep ahead of any illness.
1) It is best to assume anyone can be infected or a carrier, including you.
2) Stay the course with what you have been doing, it’s your best protection.
3) If you have not been following the measures, now is the time to get on board.