Today, Hancock County reported the highest number of new coronavirus infections on record at 126. While this figure is surely inflated by an outbreak at a local nursing home, it is concerning nonetheless as daily new cases have stabilized at a very high level as noted in the chart below from the ISDH website:
As we move past Thanksgiving and into Christmas, it is likely we will see these numbers increase even more as people gather to celebrate the holidays. If possible, please avoid these gatherings and congregate virtually via Zoom and Facetime. Please know, I understand that some gatherings cannot be avoided, and Zooming with your family is just not the same, but any little bit we can do to limit the spread of the disease right now is important. Why? Because the end of the tunnel is so clear and bright (exceptional treatments already here and a vaccine just weeks away from initial distribution) that it would be unfortunate for hospitals to be overrun just before the end.
So, how do we minimize the impact at this juncture? First, as noted above, avoid gatherings when at all possible, at work and at home. Second, practice the basics of hand washing and proper mask-wearing whenever we are around people we don’t live with. Third, if we get a call from contact tracers at the state or local health departments following up on exposure, please take the call. Fourth, if we have significant exposure to an infected person, please quarantine fully. Fifth, only get tested if there is a real reason to test. Tests are more difficult to get during a surge and the turnaround time is long enough that just quarantining is a better bet. Sixth, if symptoms develop – call your doctor for advice and follow it. Last, don’t put off your regular screenings and checkups. As bad as COVID is, for many people other things are much worse and they can be caught early with screening.
To our extraordinary Hancock Health team – I know you are tired and ready for this to be over, but please know that better days are ahead. To our friends and families in Hancock County – thank you for your support so far, thank you for your patience as we all suffer through COVID-fatigue, and thank you in advance for your help during these last months of the pandemic by helping us make it through to the end by following the advice above.
All the Best