The Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce hosted a webinar Tuesday afternoon featuring local health officials to help employers learn how to operate with the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the area.
Featured speakers were Clay Horton, director at Green River District Health Department, along with Michael Kelley, vice president of medical affairs of Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.
Kelley said that the hospital currently houses 45 current patients with COVID-19, and 12 of those are in the critical care unit. There were 24 patients that died of COVID-19 in August.
That is the third-highest number of patients that have died of COVID-19 in a single month since March of 2020, Kelley said.
Horton said that after the FDA approved of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday, he hopes that the objections he was seeing would subside.
Horton noted there are guidelines to follow for the people that experience contact with COVID-19. If one tests positive, they are encouraged to “isolate” for 10 days from when their symptoms arrive until they are able to have a full 24 hours without symptoms.
Anyone testing positive without any symptoms is still asked to isolate for 10 days from the test date.
“We were previously asking people to quarantine for 14 days with the Delta variant, but there’s a lot of evidence and a lot of data that suggests that the incubation period is a little shorter,” Horton said.
Those fully vaccinated that do not have symptoms do not have to quarantine. They are asked to wear a mask when they are in public and monitor their symptoms and consider getting tested three to five days after exposure.
Horton said testing too soon could create an inaccurate answer.
When it comes to the booster shots, Kelley encourages people to get the extra dose when it is available.
“I’m in favor of as soon as you’re able to get your booster — whether you’re at 8 months, 7.5 months, 6.75 months, I don’t want to split hairs I don’t have a set number on that — I think that you should get your booster,” Kelley said.