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COVID update corner

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MONTANA — As of Sunday, Jan. 9, there were 1,161 new cases of COVID-19 in the state with 23 new and 85 active cases in Lake County. Those numbers, gleaned from the state’s COVID-19 tracking site, compare to 22 new cases in the county on Dec. 31 and 815 new cases for the state overall on Jan. 3.  The eligible portion of Montanans fully vaccinated is now 53% with Lake County’s population 58% fully immunized.

Booster shots are now being recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention five months after completion of the primary Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those age 12 and older and five months after completion of the primary Moderna vaccine for those 18 and older. A booster shot is recommended two months after getting the initial Johnson and Johnson vaccine. 

According to the CDC, while vaccines protect against severe illness, hospitalizations and death, their effectiveness against infection decreases over time. Boosters increase protection from COVID-19 and its variants, including the Omicron variant which spreads more easily than the original virus. 

Vaccines and boosters can be found at Individuals enter their 5-digit zipcode and a search radius to find vaccine locations nearest them.

Lake County Public Health recently shared the following latest isolation guidance for those testing positive for COVID-19: 

General population, regardless of vaccination status:

• Isolate for at least 5 days. To calculate your 5-day isolation period, day 0 is your first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed. 

• If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house. However, if you have a fever continue to stay home until you’ve been clear of it for at least 24 hours.

• Continue to wear a mask (KN95 or better) around others for 5 additional days.

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