County health officials encourage booster and vaccines


By Darian Gillette - dgillette@aimmediamidwest.com



“We are starting to see a surge in cases right now in the county and our expectations are that we are going to have a big surge here in the next month,” said Dargazell.

“We are starting to see a surge in cases right now in the county and our expectations are that we are going to have a big surge here in the next month,” said Dargazell.


PORTSMOUTH — Due to the COVID-19 variant Omicron, Molly Dargazell, The Regional Epidemiologist, said cases continue to rise throughout the region.

Dargazell is the Regional Epidemiologist for Lawerence County, Scioto County and Portsmouth City.

“We are starting to see a surge in cases right now in the county and our expectations are that we are going to have a big surge here in the next month,” said Dargazell. “Over the past three weeks here, we have jumped up from 276 cases to 474 last week and this week, we are already at 251 cases in the county.”

Dargazell said Omicron symptoms have shown to be milder, making it less likely for people to go out and get tested.

“We know that it is much easier to spread around than the Delta variant,” said Dargazell. “It can be somewhat a milder illness in people, especially if you have the vaccine, so we run the risk of people having a mild illness and not getting tested, which would increase transmission within the county.”

As cases rise, hospitals continue to be understaffed and full of COVID-19 patients.

“Hospitalizations are up from 43 cases in November to 99 in December and they are still going up right now,” said Dargazell. “Unless you have a life-threatening illness or symptoms that need immediate medical care, please try to avoid going to the hospital, talk to your primary care doctor instead, or if you have to go to urgent care.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has changed the recommended isolation time from 10 days to five.

The CDC stated the clock starts the day a person tests positive. An infected person should go into isolation for five days instead of the previously recommended 10.

If you have no symptoms at the end of five days, you can return to normal activities but must wear a mask everywhere, even at home around others, for at least five more days.

If you still have symptoms after isolating for five days, stay home until you feel better and then start your five days of wearing a mask at all times.

Dargazell said even with the change, it is important to wear a mask for five days still.

“Even though the CDC guidance has changed, it only applies to people of the general public, not those who work in a congregant care setting or live in a congregant care setting,” said Dargazell. “It’s suggested you stick to that five days of masking and because it’s so contagious, you need a well-fitting. If you can get an n95, that’s our suggestion but it can’t be falling down around your nose.”

Dargazell said there are several places offering vaccines and boosters.

“People are welcome to get their booster here at the City Health Department, most of the pharmacies in the area are offering the vaccine, but you have to call and schedule an appointment, and your primary care provider might be able to give the vaccine as well,” said Dargazell.

Dargazell encourages everyone to get their vaccine.

“Please get your booster and please consider having your children vaccinated,” said Dargazell.

“We are starting to see a surge in cases right now in the county and our expectations are that we are going to have a big surge here in the next month,” said Dargazell.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/01/web1_N2201P46008C.jpg“We are starting to see a surge in cases right now in the county and our expectations are that we are going to have a big surge here in the next month,” said Dargazell.

By Darian Gillette

dgillette@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Darian Gillette at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931, or by email at dgillette@aimmediamidwest.com.

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Darian Gillette at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931, or by email at dgillette@aimmediamidwest.com.

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved