HAMILTON — While the latest spike in COVID-19 cases in the Bitterroot appears to be leveling off, Ravalli County Health Department Director Tiffany Webber says now is not the time for Bitterroot residents to let their guards down.
Webber noted that as October comes to an end the number of positive cases may be plateauing, although unreported home testing could mean the numbers are higher.
The arrival of fall, and soon-to-be winter weather, has Webber advising Ravalli County residents to continue to use "personal responsibility" to keep others safe. That includes masking when out among strangers, getting vaccinated if you feel that's an appropriate step, and above all, staying home if you feel sick.
"Even if you have a slight cough, and you've ruled it out that you don't have COVID, wear your mask anyway. You know, don't spread that either. Nobody wants a sore throat, strep throat, or any of that stuff. We have flu that's coming. Get your flu vaccine," Webber said.
"And you know, if I could say just one other thing it would be, get your information from an accredited source. Don't Google things. Go to an accredited source and find it. Go to your provider, look at the CDC, go to the FDA. But find an accredited source, Webber advised.
Webber says the guidance on vaccine booster shots is also much clearer now, with the specific brand of vaccine not as important as it was last spring. She says boosters are available from local pharmacies now, and at the Ravalli County Health Department on Tuesdays.
The below information is from the Ravalli County Health Department
For individuals who received a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster at 6 months or more after their initial series:
- 65 years and older
- Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
- Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
- Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings
Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine booster may be given at least 2twomonths after primary vaccination with the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, to individuals 18 years of age and older.
Receiving a booster of the same primary vaccine is not required, meaning individuals may choose which approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccine they’d like to receive as a booster.
The vaccine is available at Public Health on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. While appointments are preferred, "walk-ins" are welcome. Call (406) 375-6672 to schedule an appointment.