If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
According to Scott County Health Department RN Meghan VanDeVelde, the recent spikes in COVID-19 cases have prompted greater public awareness of the pandemic and of public health responses to the pandemic.
VanDeVelde indicated that this is a positive development, as more people are seriously considering getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We are having more conversations with people about their concerns and questions regarding the vaccines,” VanDeVelde said. “So it is good to see people having that conversation and sparking those thoughts that maybe were not beforehand.”
Another development in the fight against COVID-19 has been the recommendation from public health agencies that individuals at particular risk should receive “booster” shots of the vaccination.
“Boosters have been recommended for the immunocompromised population – those in active treatment for cancer, transplant recipients, or those on chronic high doses of corticosteroids which could impact their immune system are some of those scenarios,” VanDeVelde said. “We have asked folks who have specialty care physicians such as an oncologist or endocrinologist, for example, to speak with their providers beforehand to make sure that their healthcare situation is well suited to receive a third dose.”
VanDeVelde said that, to a large extent, SCHD is depending on the judgement of residents and their health care providers in determining whether or not a booster shot is warranted. VanDeVelde stressed that it is recommended the booster shot be the same vaccine that residents have already received.
“It is difficult for us, as there is only a small specific population that it has been recommended for at this time, and we do not know everybody’s past medical history,” VanDeVelde said. “We just want to ensure the safety and best practices for those in our community. It is still recommended to receive the same brand of the previous two vaccines as well.”
The Scott County Nursing Center (SCNC), according to VanDeVelde, continues to fair relatively well in comparison to long-term care facilities in adjacent counties.
“The nursing home is holding strong,” VanDeVelde said. “There has been a total of 15 residents that have tested positive. They currently have five active cases, and up to this point, all of them have done very well.”
SCNC staff, VanDeVelde said, are aggressively treating any residents to minimize the severity of their symptoms.
“The staff has coordinated for the positive residents to receive the monoclonal antibody infusions,” VanDeVelde said. “Thus far, that has seemed to keep the residents› symptoms at bay and allowed them to recover fairly well.”
SCNC and SCHD staff are coordinating with Scott County’s Emergency Management Director Justin Daws to prevent further outbreaks at the facility.
“They are testing staff and residents routinely,” VanDeVelde said. “We have been coordinating with Justin Daws, who is our local IEMA coordinator, to ensure they have had proper personal protective equipment and supplies to navigate through this period. But, for now it looks like the staff there has a handle on this, and we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”