Saturday, April 20, 2024

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Two county commissioners bounce back after contracting COVID-19

Two Alamance County commissioners were recently diagnosed with COVID-19 and were temporarily sidelined by their quarantine

The latest coronavirus report from Alamance County’s health director had more than just academic appeal for two members of the county’s governing board, who had just survived their own bouts with the virus when they heard from the health director this week.

Commissioner Bill Lashley acknowledged that he was fresh out of quarantine on Monday when he and his fellow commissioners received an update on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic from the county’s health director Tony Lo Giudice. The health director’s report drew a similar admission from John Paisley, Jr. the chairman of Alamance County’s commissioners, who tuned into the briefing remotely because he, unlike Lashley, hadn’t been cleared to leave isolation.

County commissioner Bill Lashley during this week’s county commissioner meeting.

“As everybody knows at this point, this is my last day of quarantine,” Paisley said as he joined Monday’s discussion over the Zoom teleconferencing platform.

County commissioner chairman John Paisley, Jr. was still in quarantine during Monday night’s county commissioner meeting, so he joined the meeting by Zoom. By the next day, however, his quarantine was over and he was back in his office and on the streets of Graham.

Paisley, who seemed energetic and hale during that evening’s proceedings, credited his own speedy recovery to an antibody infusion that he said he received from Cone Health – thanks to a referral from the county’s health department. This same treatment also received a wholehearted endorsement from Lashley, who said that he likewise received an infusion of antibodies after he tested positive for COVID-19 – the strain of coronavirus responsible for the ongoing pandemic.

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“If you should get COVID-19, this is a viable alternative that will keep you out of the hospital and boost the antibodies in your blood stream,” the commissioner said. “I was amazed at the outcome…It will keep you out of the hospital, and it will keep you off the ventilator, and if it keeps you off the ventilator, it will save your life.”

In his report to the commissioners, Lo Giudice acknowledged that not all of the county’s coronavirus patients have been as fortunate as Paisley and Lashley. He conceded that, since his department last update on the pandemic earlier this month, the county had logged an additional 16 deaths from COVID-19. Lo Giudice also noted his agency’s ongoing struggle to get area residents vaccinated, adding that as of Monday, the fully vaccinated still accounted for less than 48 percent of the county’s whole population.

The health director went on to emphasize that people who are fully inoculated tend to fare better when they do contract COVID-19. He added that, at last count, vaccinated individuals accounted for just 18 of the 145 coronavirus patients at hospitals that Cone Health operates throughout the Triad.

In the end, it was the preventative benefit of vaccines that Lo Giudice recommended over all of the other measures that have been brought to bear against COVID-19.

Alamance County health director Tony Giudice during an earlier county commissioner meeting.

“Get vaccinated if you can, first and foremost,” he said as he shared his advice with the commissioners. “Wear your mask, especially in the school setting,” he added, “socially distance when you can, and adhere to the quarantine and the isolation protocols.”

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