HAMILTON COUNTY, TN – Hamilton County Health Department data reveal that COVID-19 positive patients are coming into contact with more people than earlier in the pandemic. This is due in part to an increase in the number and size of public events where more people are present. Compounding this problem is that many people at these events are not wearing masks and not social distancing.
Additionally, symptomatic individuals who attended such events wrongly assumed they did not have COVID because they had mild symptoms and did not feel ill.
“It is extremely important to isolate at home if you are having COVID-19 symptoms of any kind,” said Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes, “More and more people who are symptomatic are going out and infecting other people. They have such mild symptoms; they wrongly assume they don’t have COVID.”
People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with the following symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
This list does not include all possible symptoms. The CDC will continue to update their list as they learn more about the disease.
If a symptomatic individual is awaiting their test results, they should stay at home until they receive those results. If an individual is COVID-19 positive and has mild to no symptoms, they can be infectious to others and should remain isolated at home until they are released from isolation by the Health Department.
If an individual has been told by the Health Department that they are a contact to a positive case, then they must remain at home during the entire quarantine period, even if they feel well and do not have symptoms. In the two days leading up to the start of symptoms, an individual can be infectious to others.
The Health Department urges anyone who is having any COVID-19 symptoms to err on the cautious side and stay home, and get tested. For those who are well and attend such events, please wear a mask, stay 6 feet away from others not in your domestic unit, take hand sanitizer, and wash hands frequently.
Most importantly, if you are sick with any illness, stay home. For more information about COVID-19, call the Health Department’s hotline at (423) 209-8383, and visit their website for free COVID-19 testing opportunities.