Health official urges vaccination prior to holidays

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Carroll County Health Commissioner Kelly Engelhart is urging county residents to become vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays. 

“We must exercise caution as we approach the holidays and winter months. To protect the health and lives of your family, friends, and our community, the Carroll County General Health District strongly recommends you become vaccinated for COVID-19,” Engelhart said in a press release.

As of Dec. 9, the county had 277 cases of COVID-19 reported for the month as well as 10 deaths. 

“This is a case rate of 809.99/100,000 people, eight times higher than the CDC threshold for high community transmission and is an increase of 105.66% in cases in the last nine days,” she said. “If the numbers continue at this rate, we will see our surge peak higher than we did last year. We very well may see over 800 cases in the month, or 30 cases a day. We will see more of our friends, family members or neighbors die from COVID-19. That is more than one Carroll County resident dying a day from this virus.”

She called the current situation ‘unfortunate,” saying, “COVID disease and death are preventable. As your health commissioner, I urge you to protect your loved ones over this holiday season. After all, the holidays are for celebrating with those we love.”

The district asks residents to consider the following:

*Only gather with elderly family if everyone is fully vaccinated and has received their booster dose. Gathering with vulnerable family members will put them at risk of death, especially if they are unvaccinated. 

*If not vaccinated, wear a mask indoors. 

*When indoors, ensure proper ventilation, (open a window, or use a window fan).

*If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home.

* Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 before attending any gathering.

*Regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Connect virtually with family who do not attend in-person gatherings.

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