Despite the Otter Tail County COVID-19 community level being low, there are still quite a few active cases in the county that have been confirmed.
From the period from Aug. 28 to Sept. 3, there were 62 current lab confirmed cases, with 15,098 cumulative lab confirmed cases since cases of COVID-19 were first confirmed in OTC.
A more stunning number is the overall cumulative hospitalizations of 721, with total deaths in OTC since the pandemic began at 176.
Assistant public health director Kristi Wentworth said the overall number of infections is hard to gauge at this point because of the availability of at-home test kits.
“From what we hear, there was a small surge that kind of brought us up to that high level in early August then we returned back to lower levels. It does seem like it settled down a little bit since we were seeing those increased cases just from what we hear from our healthcare partners in our communities, it’s a manageable reported case rate,” said Wentworth.
According to the classification level from public health, at the low level, individual and community-level recommendations focus on best practices in infection prevention and control in community settings, in addition to promoting up-to-date vaccinations as the front-line strategy to protect from severe disease. These include improving ventilation, testing to identify infection early and following recommendations for isolation and quarantine.
Wentworth said they are getting ready to offer updated COVID-19 bivalent booster shots. She explained that the new boosters will actually cover people for the original strains as well as the new Omicron strains.
“It covers the original strain and the latest strain together. It will have a little broader coverage. However, it’s important to know that it’s not for the primary vaccination. If people are still looking to start the series we would recommend the original vaccine series,” stated Wentworth.
Otter Tail County public health said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends, as of Sept. 1, to get the updated booster shots at least two months after a person’s last COVID-19 dose, being either a booster dose or the primary series. Individuals age 12 and up are eligible for the updated Moderna booster.
The importance of the boosters is that they can further enhance or restore protection that might have waned over time after a person’s primary series vaccination.df
For more detailed information on the booster shots, go to ottertailcountymn.us/content-page/covid-19-vaccine.