Health officials: Don't wait for the health department

Those positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to begin isolation 

As statewide vaccinations continue, the District Health Department warns about becoming complacent.

Health officials are reminding those who test positive for COVID-19 to begin isolation immediately and notify close contacts. Do not wait to hear from the health department.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing an uptick in cases again in some of our counties, and with our staff focused on getting residents vaccinated, we aren’t able to initiate case investigations and contact tracing as quickly as we’d like,” said Kevin Hughes, health officer for DHD No. 10.

“We ask that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 follow the normal protocols for isolation and quarantine.”

In a news release Friday, health officials outlined steps to take in order to not spread the coronavirus:

If you have symptoms of COVID-19: Stay home and consider getting tested. Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.

If you are having trouble breathing or experiencing pain or pressure in your chest, get care immediately.

If you get tested and are waiting for your results: Stay home and monitor your health; think about the people you have recently been around; and answer the phone call from the health department or state for contact tracing.

If you test positive for COVID-19: Continue to self-isolate. Don’t wait to hear from the health department. Begin contacting anyone you know you had close contact with up to two days prior to your onset of symptoms so they can quarantine to prevent spreading illness to others. If you have no symptoms, count from the date you were tested.

Because it is unknown how long immunity will last if you have already had COVID-19, and due to new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, it is possible to become re-infected. Continue to follow the necessary protocols to prevent yourself and others from getting sick.

If you have been fully vaccinated, you should continue to take precautions in public places, like masking, social distancing, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until more is known about how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19.

For questions, email us at For more COVID-19 vaccine information, visit us at To stay informed, sign up for our Public Health Alert at