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COVID Q&A with Lake Cumberland District Health

A Lake Cumberland District Health Department Zoom meeting was held on September 15, 2021. The panel consisted of: Amy Tomlinson, Executive Director, Dr. Weyman, Medical Director, Laura Woodrum, Director of Nursing Melanie Jones, Health Educator, moderator

The following questions were presented to the staff by the media and community at large.

1. How long can a positive COVID case test positive?
Answer: PCR tests which measure the presence of viral RNA may be positive for weeks and possibly more than a month. This test does not differentiate between viable virus and remnant RNA, Antigen tests tend not to be positive once the person recovers.

2. My 10-year-old daughter has Covid right now. She is gradually losing her sense of taste and smell. She can smell some things and taste some things but not all things. Is this common?
Answer: Change or loss of smell and taste are quite common during COVID infection.

3. I watch your email every day and have noted that a pretty large handful of individuals have died who were vaccinated. Why is that?
Answer: In the last month we have had more individuals who have died and were vaccinated (5/28). All were either elderly and/or with underlying conditions. Waning immunity also likely played a part, as most of the elderly were first to be vaccinated in early 2021. The immune system of the elderly is weaker and does not respond as well to vaccination as do the young.

4. Explain the difference from isolation and quarantine?
Answer: In reality there is no difference- both require the person to stay away from other people for 10 days. Isolation is designated for COVID cases to prevent spread. Quarantine is designated for exposed persons, who may be in the incubation period and able to spread the disease.

5. When should I expect a call from the health department when, we are positive?
Answer: Due to the large number of cases and limited staff, you may not hear from the health department for several days. All recommendations for isolation, etc are on our website.

6. When can someone get the booster shot? If you take Moderna, can you take the Pfizer booster shot?
Answer: The FDA has not specified when booster shots will be authorized for non- immunocompromised individuals. The latter can receive them now. CDC recommends the use of the same vaccine for the 3rd dose for immunocompromised individuals.

7. I tested positive for COVID, should I get retested after my 10 days of isolation?
Answer: No, studies have shown that the contagious period ends when individuals recover which has been shown to be around day 10. The PCR test may be positive for longer due to non-viable RNA remnants.

LCDHD County Health Centers -- (800) 928-4416
Adair • Casey • Clinton • Cumberland • Green • McCreary • Pulaski • Russell • Taylor • Wayne

If you have questions for our next media zoom meeting, feel free to contact the health educator at our local health department or reach out to Tracy Aaron at or 606-678-4761 x 6256.

Hearing or speech impaired callers: call the Kentucky Relay Service at (800) 648-6056. Give the communications assistant our phone number to contact us.

This story was posted on 2021-09-15 21:54:28
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