COVID-19 Update January 2021

As we enter the new year, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a major problem in our country. The health care team at the Cook Hospital and Care Center want the public to be aware that we have been vaccinating our staff, residents, and local EMS providers. We encourage the public to be proactive and obtain the vaccine as well, as this is one of the best ways to protect everyone from the virus. Vaccines work with the immune system, so it is prepared to fight the virus if exposed. Having widespread vaccination will help us take a big step towards ending this pandemic!

It is still very important to be tested if you exhibit the symptoms of COVID-19 or if you were exposed to COVID-19. Many people think they “just have a cold” and end up testing positive. Though you have minor symptoms, someone you expose unknowingly might not be so lucky.  If you test positive you need to self-quarantine for 10 days from symptom onset. If you have been told you have a high-risk exposure you should seek testing between 5 and 7 days after exposure. It is also necessary to self-quarantine based on the current guidelines to help stop the spread. The safest option is to quarantine for 14 days. Another option is if you test negative between day 5 and 7 you can stop your quarantine after 10 days IF you do not have any symptoms and no one in your household has COVID-19.

Lastly, there is a monoclonal antibody treatment available at the Cook Hospital on an outpatient basis for individuals who test positive for COVID-19. This therapy must be given within 10 days of symptom onset. For this reason, it is important that you get tested right away when your symptoms start so it is not too late to get the antibody treatment if you want it.  Monoclonal antibody therapy is intended to prevent individuals who meet certain risk factors from progressing to severe COVID-19. If you are interested in this therapy, contact your primary care provider.

Continue to mask up in public and perform frequent hand hygiene as that is a great way to prevent the spread of COVID-19!