Increase in COVID-19 cases, 30% positivity rate |

All COVID-19 measures increase sharply after the holiday season and the start of the new Omicron variant.

Since mid-December, Peterson Health has been reporting an average of 20 to 30 new cases per day, hospitalizations are also on the rise.

As of Monday morning, a total of 22 patients were being treated at Peterson Regional Medical Center for the virus, including five admitted to the intensive care unit.

A nationwide shortage of home COVID-19 test kits has created a crowd at local medical facilities, with patients seeking to be tested, and once again the community is learning to adapt to a new normality.

To add to the confusion, it is currently flu season, cedar season and the cold has brought the usual colds, making it difficult for citizens to determine exactly what illness they are suffering from.

“Most of the people who visit emergency care are there for testing. We have seen over 200 visits in one day recently. Most of these problems are also caused by people bewildered by symptoms such as cedar fever, ”said Lisa Winters, director of marketing and community relations at Peterson Health. “We went from a four percent positivity rate at the end of October, with single digit positive cases, to now double digits and a positivity rate of over 30 percent.

In response to the outbreak, Peterson Health announced last week that they have opened an ancillary COVID testing site. (See page 1).

Winters said staff also created a symptom chart to help citizens determine what they might be suffering from.

“Typically, COVID strains are not itchy or watery. This can be a differentiator between cedar fever and COVID, ”Winters said. “And, you usually don’t have a temperature with cedar fever, even though it’s called cedar fever. So no fever, watery eyes and constant sneezing is usually cedar fever. “

Dr Luke Harper added that anyone who has lived here long enough can probably recognize the symptoms of cedar fever, as they present themselves constantly at this time of year.

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