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Area doctors answer questions about COVID – Park Rapids Enterprise

Hubbard County is experiencing a medium rate of community transmission of COVID-19, according to the most recent COVID tracker report of Aug. 4.

While that’s down from the high rate of transmission previously reported, Dr. Michele Thieman of Essentia Health in Park Rapids says the exposure risk may actually be higher.

Symptoms of the BA.5 variant include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever, headache, muscle pain and fatigue.

“Many people are performing at-home tests only, and that data is rarely reported to the CDC, county or state, so you should assume the transmission levels are significantly higher than recorded,” Thieman said. “In addition, surrounding counties, including Beltrami, Clearwater and Otter Tail, are at high levels of transmission.”

As of Aug. 8, data on the Minnesota Department of Health website showed only 11,608 (55.2%) of Hubbard County residents had received at least one vaccine dose and only 10,958 had completed the vaccine series with 3,812 fully boosted.

Socializing and vacationing

As the Labor Day holiday approaches, many families are planning vacations to enjoy the last days of summer before school begins.

Dr. Shayla Hesse is a physician with Sanford Health in Bemidji. She said it is up to each individual to assess the amount of risk they are willing to accept.

“There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to how much to limit activities which may expose you and your family to COVID-19,” she said. “The amount of risk you are willing to accept may depend on the likelihood that you will develop more severe disease, if infected. For example, if you are immunocompromised, elderly, unvaccinated and/or have chronic medical conditions, you are at increased risk to develop more severe symptoms if infected with COVID-19. This may lead you to take more precautions than someone who is young, healthy, vaccinated and lives alone.”

Hesse said outdoor activities are generally safer than indoor ones, and smaller gatherings are better than larger ones.

“In addition, maintaining six feet of distance from individuals outside of your household and wearing a well-fitted mask have been shown to help protect you as well as other people,” she said.

Thieman said most people do not need to wear a mask outdoors. “If it’s very crowded, you may want to reconsider,” she said.

According to the CDC, when COVID community transmission rates are low, the guidance is to wear a mask based on personal preference and level of risk.

When transmission rates are medium, those at higher risk for severe illness or who live or gather with someone at risk for severe illness should mask indoors.

During high community transmission rates, it is recommended that anyone 2 or older wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status or individual risk, including in K-12 schools and other community settings. Those at risk for severe illness should wear a mask or respirator that provides greater protection.

Guidelines for COVID positives

Thieman said the recommendation for someone who tests positive for COVID is to isolate for a full five days, with “day 1” being the first full day after symptoms started or after being tested with a positive result.

Isolation may be ended after five days, under the following circumstances:

  • fever free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications) AND symptoms are improving or
  • you never developed symptoms and you are on day 6 or 
  • 10 days minimum if you got very …….

    Source: https://www.parkrapidsenterprise.com/news/local/area-doctors-answer-questions-about-covid

    Hubbard County is experiencing a medium rate of community transmission of COVID-19, according to the most recent COVID tracker report of Aug. 4.

    While that’s down from the high rate of transmission previously reported, Dr. Michele Thieman of Essentia Health in Park Rapids says the exposure risk may actually be higher.

    Symptoms of the BA.5 variant include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever, headache, muscle pain and fatigue.

    “Many people are performing at-home tests only, and that data is rarely reported to the CDC, county or state, so you should assume the transmission levels are significantly higher than recorded,” Thieman said. “In addition, …….

    Hubbard County is experiencing a medium rate of community transmission of COVID-19, according to the most recent COVID tracker report of Aug. 4.

    While that’s down from the high rate of transmission previously reported, Dr. Michele Thieman of Essentia Health in Park Rapids says the exposure risk may actually be higher.

    Symptoms of the BA.5 variant include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever, headache, muscle pain and fatigue.

    “Many people are performing at-home tests only, and that data is rarely reported to the CDC, county or state, so you should assume the transmission levels are significantly higher than recorded,” Thieman said. “In addition, …….

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