With Thanksgiving around the corner, many Michiganders are questioning how best to enjoy the holiday season with family and friends while also being mindful of the states high coronavirus transmission rates.
One reader asked if they should include their non-vaccinated relatives in their Thanksgiving dinner plans if the majority is vaccinated and there are no known underlying health conditions amongst the group. Additionally, they expressed concern about asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic spread from the vaccinated attendees to those non-vaccinated.
Health officials continue to recommend the available vaccines as the best way to reduce risk of infection, limit spread of the virus and prevent severe illness in the event of a breakthrough infection. More than 227 million Americans have gotten at least one dose of vaccine, including more than 5.6 million Michiganders, with reports of adverse reactions continuing to be rare.
Doctors said vaccination status should be paramount for choosing who to gather with this holiday season, and they recommended picking small groups of vaccinated people to celebrate with.
If youre planning to celebrate Thanksgiving indoors with individuals who are not vaccinated, one local health officer recommends asking them to take a rapid COVID test earlier that morning. These tests, which can provide results in minutes, are more readily available at local pharmacies as of mid-November, compared to weeks earlier.
Testing helps reduce risk of transmission, but it shouldnt be a vaccine replacement, said Dr. Adnan Munkarah, executive vice president and chief clinical officer for Henry Ford Health System. He also recommends opening windows if you are hosting a gathering to allow for better air circulation, and to avoid gathering if youre feeling ill, even with cold-like symptoms.
By all means, if you not feeling well, if you are running a fever, are short of breath, or tired, and suspect your might have flu or COVID, please stay at home so you can protect your loved ones and those around you, Munkarah said.
Rather than leaving some family members out of your holidays, consider offering a virtual option to safely stay connected.
Below are some additional questions MLive received. If you have a COVID-related inquiry, send it to email@example.com. Your question could be featured in a future Q&A segment with an answer from local, federal and world health officials and studies.
Q: I was diagnosed with COVID-19 back in July 2020 and I have still not regained my sense of smell or taste. Its been over a year, will it ever come back?
This line of questioning prompted MLive to interview a couple ear, nose and throat experts earlier this month to better understand the process of registering smells, and what COVID-19 does to it.
In summary, viral infections like COVID-19 can cause damage to the nerve fibers in the roof of the nose and the support cells around them. That damage, as well as the inflammatory response to the infection, make it difficult for molecules to get to the nerve fibers, resulting in the loss of smell.
In most documented cases, the sense has returned after a few weeks/months, but there are cases in which an individual has gone years or never regained their full sense of smell. Doctors said thats not because the virus is continuing to live in your cells, but rather the damage is too severe or the environment isnt conducive to regeneration. More research is needed to determine if certain conditions make an individual more susceptible for long-term sense loss.
There are a few remedies that have proven useful to some. They involve the use of nasal steroids to reduce inflammation, and/or a neti pot to clean and moisturize the nose. There is also a technique in which the individual undergoes olfactory training therapy with the use of essential oils to regain some sense of smell. For more on that, check out the full MLive article.
Q: Do you ever question the so-called experts who say mask-up but never say anything about eye goggles?
Masks are useful in reducing the spread of coronavirus because they limit the amount of respiratory droplets released, from the wearer, into the air, as well as reducing the distance that the droplets carrying the virus can travel. They also keep you from touching your nose and mouth with potentially contaminated hands.
It is possible for a viral infection to occur through the mucous membranes of the eye, but there doesnt appear to be much evidence that coronavirus infections are commonly occurring this way. The most common means of transmission is through the respiratory tract, and thus masks that cover the nose and mouth are more beneficial.
Health officials dont recommend individuals wear eye protection like goggles as a means to slow coronavirus transmission, with the exception of health care workers. They are encouraged to wear face and eye coverings because of the conditions they work in and their proximity to seriously ill patients.
For everyone else, eye goggles wont hurt but they likely arent going to greatly reduce your risk of infection.
To submit your question, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find a vaccine near you, eligible residents can visit Michigans COVID-19 vaccine website or go to VaccineFinder.org. Shots are available through health systems, pharmacies, health departments, physicians offices and other enrolled providers.
Read more on MLive:
What were experiencing today is unprecedented, Spectrum Health says as patient levels climb
West Michigan healthcare coalition says its resources are being overwhelmed by COVID and other patients
Michigan reports highest single-day positivity rate since start of pandemic, 21,034 new COVID cases
Hurley Medical Center hits 100 percent capacity as Flint area COVID-19 numbers surge
COVID-19 Q&A: Should I invite non-vaccinated family to Thanksgiving dinner? - mlive.com
- New York Reports Five Omicron Cases - The New York Times - December 3rd, 2021
- Pfizer COVID pill benefited from research on SARS : Shots - Health News - NPR - December 3rd, 2021
- San Francisco Followed Covid Rules. Will Omicron Change the Playbook? - The New York Times - December 3rd, 2021
- COVID-19 survivors have higher risk of death 12 months after infection - Medical News Today - December 3rd, 2021
- Omicron could be tougher against the COVID-19 vaccine than other variants, Rice research shows - Houston Public Media - December 3rd, 2021
- CDC director says recommendations for protection the same, 'regardless of the variant': COVID updates - USA TODAY - December 3rd, 2021
- COVID-19 in South Dakota: 512 total new cases; Death toll rises to 2,357; Active cases at 7,572 - KELOLAND.com - December 3rd, 2021
- Coronavirus in Ohio Thursday update: Over 9,000 new cases - NBC4 WCMH-TV - December 3rd, 2021
- Northeast Ohio sees highest COVID hospitalization levels in the state - fox8.com - December 3rd, 2021
- Omicron and other coronavirus variants: What you need to know - Wink News - December 3rd, 2021
- Patriots again experience the disruptive power of Covid-19 - Pats Pulpit - December 3rd, 2021
- First Omicron case reported in the US: Live updates - CNN - December 2nd, 2021
- COVID-19: Top news stories about the coronavirus pandemic on 1 December | World Economic Forum - World Economic Forum - December 2nd, 2021
- How worried should we be about Omicron, the new coronavirus variant? - CNN - December 2nd, 2021
- Greece imposes monthly fines of 100 euros on the over-60s who refuse a Covid vaccine - CNBC - December 2nd, 2021
- UC San Diego hustling to find Omicron variant of coronavirus to help assess threat to public health - The San Diego Union-Tribune - November 29th, 2021
- Coronavirus variants: Here's what we know - CNN - November 29th, 2021
- OMICRON: Cases of new coronavirus variant are confirmed around the world - News 12 Bronx - November 29th, 2021
- South Africa informed the world of omicron. Then it was hit with travel bans : Coronavirus Updates - NPR - November 29th, 2021
- Will the Covid Vaccines Stop Omicron? Scientists Are Racing to Find Out. - The New York Times - November 29th, 2021
- Gov. Murphy got his COVID booster shot and says you should too - nj.com - November 29th, 2021
- Stocks and oil prices drop as the world reacts to new coronavirus variant omicron - NPR - November 27th, 2021
- World is put on high alert over the Omicron coronavirus variant - CNN - November 27th, 2021
- Active coronavirus cases surge in Ulster; Dutchess reports one new death - The Daily Freeman - November 27th, 2021
- The highest COVID death rate in the world is in Peru. How did that happen? : Goats and Soda - NPR - November 27th, 2021
- Daily coronavirus data for Colorado, BVSD and the University of Colorado Boulder, reported Nov. 26, 2021 - The Daily Camera - November 27th, 2021
- COVID-19 skeptic barely survives 102 days in hospital: Oregon man thought it was all a lie - oregonlive.com - November 27th, 2021
- CPW keeping eye on research documenting coronavirus in deer - The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel - November 25th, 2021
- Why are coronavirus cases and hospitalizations on the rise in the US? - ABC News - November 25th, 2021
- Serious concern as South Africa detects new coronavirus variant - Aljazeera.com - November 25th, 2021
- 548 more coronavirus cases have been reported across Maine - Bangor Daily News - November 25th, 2021
- Coronavirus: NYC families will get paid time off to have kids vaccinated - silive.com - November 25th, 2021
- These 7 N.J. ZIP codes have been hit hardest by COVID - nj.com - November 25th, 2021
- Coronavirus researcher Cameron Myhrvold is using 'spectacular' new technologies to seek and destroy viral pathogens - Princeton University - November 25th, 2021
- Coronavirus in Ohio Wednesday update: Another day of more than 6,000 new cases reported - NBC4 WCMH-TV - November 25th, 2021
- How Is COVID Testing Still This Confusing? - The Atlantic - November 25th, 2021
- COVID-19: Unvaccinated mother, 27, dies with coronavirus as her father calls for fines for people who refuse jab - Sky News - November 25th, 2021
- U.S. has already seen more COVID deaths in 2021 than 2020 before vaccines were available, as experts again warn pandemic is not over - MarketWatch - November 25th, 2021
- Active coronavirus cases in Wyoming up by 202 | Coronavirus | wyomingnews.com - Wyoming Tribune - November 25th, 2021
- City of Fresno | Corona Virus (COVID-19) - November 23rd, 2021
- As Thanksgiving Approaches, U.S. Virus Cases Tick Upward Once More - The New York Times - November 23rd, 2021
- With coronavirus on the rise again, what will another pandemic winter look like in Oklahoma? - Oklahoman.com - November 23rd, 2021
- State's COVID-19 Positive Rate Remains Above 3% Ahead of Thanksgiving Weekend - NBC Connecticut - November 23rd, 2021
- California has one of lowest coronavirus rates in US heading into holidays, but could surge again - Stockton Record - November 23rd, 2021
- N.J. reports 1,330 COVID cases, 7 deaths. Positive tests rising ahead of Thanksgiving holiday. - nj.com - November 23rd, 2021
- UK employers step up demand for workers vaccinated against Covid - The Guardian - November 23rd, 2021
- Mesa cancer survivor nearly dies from COVID-19 breakthrough infection - Arizona's Family - November 23rd, 2021
- Clashes break out in Brussels in protests over coronavirus restrictions - Reuters - November 23rd, 2021
- Protests have broken out across Europe in response to tightened COVID-19 restrictions - NPR - November 23rd, 2021
- Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 258.3 million and Germany minister offers stark warning to unvaccinated - MarketWatch - November 23rd, 2021
- Doctor shares what to do so you don't 'bring COVID to your Thanksgiving dinner' - News 5 Cleveland - November 23rd, 2021
- On This Day: COVID-19 patient zero reportedly diagnosed in China in 2019 - The Jerusalem Post - November 23rd, 2021
- Coronavirus in Ohio Monday update: More than 4,300 cases reported - NBC4 WCMH-TV - November 23rd, 2021
- Could coronavirus stay on surfaces and infect you? New study - The Jerusalem Post - November 21st, 2021
- COVID live updates: All the coronavirus news you need to know - ABC News - November 21st, 2021
- Coronavirus in Oregon: 1,090 new cases, 28 deaths as feds recommend boosters for all adults - oregonlive.com - November 21st, 2021
- In South Sudan, Vaccines Are Overshadowed by Pressing Needs - The New York Times - November 21st, 2021
- Kalispell's hospital finds innovative method to fight COVID-19 - KPAX-TV - November 21st, 2021
- Coronavirus FAQ: What is long COVID? And what is my risk of getting it? - NPR - November 18th, 2021
- 'Sadly, this virus will never leave our society': Weekly new infections again surpass 600,000. COVID-19 updates - USA TODAY - November 18th, 2021
- Coronavirus spreads in deer and other animals. Scientists worry about what that means for people - CNN - November 18th, 2021
- Netherlands Is Maxing Out Its Covid Testing Capacity - The New York Times - November 18th, 2021
- Hospitals across KELOLAND seeing increase in COVID-19 patients - KELOLAND.com - November 18th, 2021
- COVID cases are rising worldwide, is next variant on its way to Israel? - The Jerusalem Post - November 18th, 2021
- During 2021 NBA Finals, at least 12 people close to Bucks and Suns tested positive for COVID-19, per report - CBSSports.com - November 18th, 2021
- Researchers find way to filter coronavirus particles out of the air - Sky News - November 16th, 2021
- Is the COVID over? Dr. Fauci reveals the end of coronavirus is near - Deseret News - November 16th, 2021
- COVID in Georgia | COVID case, death, and hospitalization data Nov. 16 - 11Alive.com WXIA - November 16th, 2021
- U.S. COVID cases start to rise again as the holidays approach - NPR - November 16th, 2021
- Alaska reports 1,089 new coronavirus infections and two COVID-19 deaths over weekend - Anchorage Daily News - November 16th, 2021
- Why Dont We Have a Covid Vaccine for Pets? - The New York Times - November 16th, 2021
- Some Ways to Have COVID - New York Magazine - November 16th, 2021
- 'We are gravely concerned.' Henry Ford health officials warn of rising COVID hospitalizations - WXYZ - November 16th, 2021
- Treating severe COVID-19: Study assesses risks of dexamethasone - Medical News Today - November 16th, 2021
- 'We really don't know how they got it': Some Oklahoma deer have coronavirus antibodies - Oklahoman.com - November 14th, 2021
- Europe and Russia battle a new wave of COVID-19 - NPR - November 14th, 2021
- Coronavirus Today: Shifting the focus from herd immunity - Los Angeles Times - November 14th, 2021
- Broad Institute researcher wants to fade into obscurity, but first she hopes her COVID book is a bestseller - The Boston Globe - November 14th, 2021
- A farm winery in Colchester thrived during the coronavirus pandemic. But COVID-19 took its toll and the owner is selling. Asking price: $3.2 million... - November 14th, 2021
- COVID-19 cases in Aroostook County schools have surpassed last year's total - Bangor Daily News - November 14th, 2021