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Posted on: January 26, 2022

Media Release COVID-19 - January 26, 2022

For Immediate Release

01/26/2022    

COVID-19 Information

Phone: 980-432-1800
Website: www.rowancountync.gov/COVID-19
Email: covid-19@rowancountync.gov

Vaccine Information

Website: www.rowancountync.gov/COVIDvaccine
Follow Us: www.facebook.com/rowancountyhealth 

Rowan County COVID-19 Case Information: https://bit.ly/rowan-covid19-hub

Local Businesses Must Do Their Part to Stop the Spread of COVID

With COVID cases and our positivity rate continuing to skyrocket, it is important that you get tested if you have symptoms and/or if you have come in contact with anyone that is positive for COVID. More importantly, it is important that our local businesses allow their employees to stay home if they are not feeling well and/or if they have come in contact with someone that is COVID positive. 

 As a reminder, there are three types of COVID-19 tests that are currently available. They are the rapid antigen test, the PCR test, as well as the at-home test. Each test has its own pros and cons with its accuracy and the time it takes to find out a result. So, what are the differences between these three types of tests?

Rapid antigen tests detect COVID-19 when people have a higher amount of the COVID-19 virus particles in their system and are more contagious. However, a negative rapid antigen test doesn’t necessarily mean you are not contagious. That’s why if someone has COVID-19; but has not yet reached the test's threshold of viral particles, they may still test negative with an antigen test, but then test positive with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. That is why an individual using this type of test should be more skeptical about a negative result, especially if you are having symptoms and/or you know you have been exposed to someone that is positive. In this situation, you should then seek out a PCR test.

PCR tests are far more sensitive than antigen tests. They’re able to detect smaller quantities of the COVID-19 virus and detect them sooner and for a longer amount of time than antigen tests. While PCR tests are considered the gold standard for a COVID-19 diagnosis, a PCR test is not necessary for those individuals who have already tested positive with a rapid antigen test. That's important to know as wait times for PCR tests continue due to the increase demand for test. In short and just to reiterate, any positive test (PCR or antigen) counts as a positive, but a negative antigen test needs to be confirmed with a PCR test.

For those of you interested in having a rapid, at-home antigen test on hand, the following things should be considered as well:

  • If you’re taking an at-home COVID-19 test, consider any positive result to mean you have COVID-19. You don’t need to confirm this with a PCR test. Even if it’s an extremely faint line, you should consider yourself infected and begin to isolate yourself from others.
  •  If you’re unclear about what your test result says, isolate yourself and repeat the test in six to 12 hours. You will likely see a clearer line on the test strip at a later time. 
  • Don’t forget, a negative at-home test is only reliable for eight to 12 hours, and it still doesn’t guarantee that you are COVID-free. You should get a PCR test as soon as possible, especially if you are having symptoms or if you were exposed to a positive person.
  • Even though individuals are not required to report any positive results from a rapid, at-home antigen test to Rowan County Public Health, individuals still need to follow the newly adopted isolation guidance from the CDC. Please also note, that Rowan County Public Health cannot offer a letter for an individual to return back to work if one chooses to do an at-home test instead of a lab-confirmed test.  If this is the case, this individual must get a letter from their primary physician instead.

For our local employers, we know this pandemic has been very hard on everyone. In addition to possibly having your business closed earlier when the pandemic started, you may now be working with less staff due to the level of sickness within our community. Although having less staff available makes it very hard for you to operate efficiently, as an employer it is with utmost importance that you do not have your staff come to work when they are sick with COVID and/or if they have come in contact with someone that is positive. This not only protects your other workers from getting sick, but it keeps your customers safe and healthy, as well.   

As a local business owner, Rowan County Public Health wants you to thrive economically and to be able to contribute to the success of our local economy. However, we must all work together to stop the spread of COVID. In addition to asking that sick and/or exposed staff stay at home, we also encourage you to ask that your staff and customers wear a well-fitted and high-quality mask, such as a KN95 or N95. By doing this, this will definitely help keep your remaining staff well and your customers coming back.  

Another thing to keep in mind is that vaccinations and boosters can also help reduce the need for people to miss work if they were exposed to someone with COVID-19. Anyone who does not have symptoms and is up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, which includes boosters for those who are eligible, does not have to stay home and quarantine due to an exposure. Lastly, we also encourage you to continue to promote social distancing and the use of hand sanitizers within your worksite and/or business as a preventative measure. 

As a local business, your efforts to prevent the viral spread of COVID-19 within your workplace continues to help support our local and state economy. For more information on how you can protect your business and staff from COVID, please visit NC DHHS’ general business guidance

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PIO Contact:
Amy Smith
704-216-8859
amy.smith@rowancountync.gov

Download Media Release COVID-19 - January 26, 2022 (PDF)

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