In January 2020, we didn’t anticipate that COVID-19 would be impacting us for years. Yet here we are, starting 2022 with several COVID vaccines, some potential treatments for COVID infection, and knowledge about how to avoid COVID infection. It’s hard to keep up with it all.
Vermont Mom has published helpful, timely, and accurate information about COVID since the beginning of the pandemic. From a post about COVID risk reduction, to help interpreting COVID-related data, to info about COVID vaccines, to specific info about the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, Vermont Mom has been here for you, providing COVID info families need.
Today, we would like to offer a list of helpful info about masks, home tests, and Vermont-specific info. It’s important to note that the Vermont Department of Health recommends that everyone who is eligible for any of the COVID vaccines be vaccinated, and receive the booster 6 months after their second vaccination. Additionally, masking, hand-washing, and physical distancing are ways to prevent infection. And if you’re having COVID symptoms, please get tested. There are free testing locations throughout Vermont, and there is even a way to report positive home test results.
Here is our quick compilation of COVID info families need. Please note: this is intended for informational purposes only. If you are sick, please seek medical care.
It is recommended that everyone wear a mask, whether vaccinated or not, and masks should be used together with physical distancing as a COVID prevention measure. For information about what kinds of masks to wear, proper mask-wearing techniques, how to make them, including helpful videos, check out the World Health Organization’s page about masking.
Since the onset of the Omicron variant, CNN recommends a 3-ply medical mask covered by a cloth mask, or a certified KN95 or N95.
Project N95 is a national nonprofit selling vetted KN95 and N95 masks. Project N95 also carries other types of personal protective equipment from gloves to home tests and more.
The Vermont Medical Society has also compiled a list of places to purchase personal protective equipment including masks.
There are two types of tests most commonly being done to determine if someone is infected with COVID: the Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) including the PCR and LAMP tests, and the antigen test. You can also sign up to be tested with a NAAT or antigen test in Vermont Health Department locations across the state.
Some antigen tests have been given out by the Health Department and some can be purchased in pharmacies or online. Since many COVID-related products are in short supply, please make sure you are buying reliable tests from reputable vendors. Please note: if you live in Vermont and purchase your own antigen test, you may be able to be reimbursed by your insurance carrier.
At-home tests may have slightly different procedures, but this short video from the CDC explains generally how to do an at-home COVID test:
It can be challenging to find at-home antigen tests to purchase, but it is not impossible. Local pharmacies are getting new tests frequently, and some can be purchased online. This list from Wired offers links to many COVID tests for sale and says which tests to avoid. The FDA has approved many antigen tests, and some tests may be available for purchase by going directly to the manufacturer’s website. The COVID-19 Testing Toolkit, run by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security offers this terrific chart of FDA-approved COVID tests, linking to the manufacturers.
It’s so hard to figure out what information is accurate, reliable, and worth reading. My favorite sources of COVID info so far are:
Friendly Neighbor Epidemiologist– Dr. Emily Smith
Your Local Epidemiologist– Dr. Katelyn Jetelina
You may have other sources of information that you prefer. The important thing is to make sure the information you are reading is credible– that it is based on science, and not speculation. Being aware of the date of publication, the source of the information, the credentials of the author, and the information referenced will give you an idea if the information you watch, read, or listen to is dependable.
Let us know! What are other types of COVID info families need?
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