COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update
Be Cautious: Variants of Covid-19 remain and are especially prominent in the more populated states
where more dense population areas exist. When in areas where you are in close proximity to a large number of people, the use of masks and social distancing are encouraged. Seniors are additionally encouraged to get, at least, a second booster shot.
Vaccines for children under the age of 5 have been approved and are available.
TESTING: **FREE AT-HOME COVID TEST KITS**
Beginning January 19, every home in the U.S. can order 4 free at-home Covid-19 tests directly from the federal government. There are no shipping costs and you do not have to enter a credit card number. Go to: COVIDTESTS.GOV.
Free at-home Test kit and mask distribution in various municipalities. Contact your municipality. As of January 15, 2022, the CDC and HHS has mandated no cost distribution of at-home testing kits by health insurance groups nationwide. Each eligible Trust member and dependent is eligible for eight (8) tests/month. Medicare members are not eligible.
Approved at home testing kits may be purchased wherever available. Submit your receipt with the COVID OTC Test Claim Form.
Ulster County vaccinations--former Best Buy @Hudson Valley Mall and various pop-up sites.
Registrations (Reservations) - covid19.ulstercountyny.gov
Schools have mandated rules for masks, social distancing, vaccinations, and testing. If you are not vaccinated, then you may be subject to frequent testing. Routine tests are not covered by the Trust plan. See guidelines below under Notice.
As of mid-April, anyone over the age of 16 is eligible for a Covid-19 vaccination. Although appointments are preferred, most sites are welcoming walk-ins. The J & J one shot vaccine has been reactivated from its "pause" as of April 23.
Federal guidance does not require coverage of routine tests that employers or other institutions may require for screening purposes as workplaces, like schools, reopen.
Each test must be deemed medically appropriate for testing for COVID-19 (molecular, antigen, or antibody) and the individual has signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or has had known or suspected recent exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Any additional testing must be pre-approved according to CDC testing guidelines established as of November 15 ,2020. See "Considerations for Testing" below.
Continue to wear masks, socially distance, avoid large crowds, and wash hands often.
See the more extensive list below.
The positive infectious rate continues to spike as colder weather arrives.
Clinical trials of vaccines continue among several pharmaceutical companies, but large scale distributions are
not anticipated before next summer.
There is a wide range of symptoms from mild to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms include: cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, or, at least two of these symptoms: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.
Seek medical attention if you have these warning signs: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face. Most people will have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care and may not need to be tested. NOT EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE TESTED.
CONSIDERATIONS for TESTING:According to CDC guidelines as of November 15, 2020.
1. People who have symptoms of COVID-19 need a test.
2. People who have had close contact (within 6' of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more) with
someone confirmed with COVID-19.
3. People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, local or state health department.
Here is a link to testing sites and their requirements in Ulster County: https://covid19.ulstercountyny.gov/get-tested/
If you test positive for COVID-19 by a viral test, know what protective steps to take if you are sick or caring for someone.
If you test negative for COVID-19 by a viral test, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. However, that does not mean you will not get sick. The test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing.
Again, continue to:
Stay home when you are experiencing fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds(singing a verse of "Happy Birthday."
Cover your mouth with tissues whenever you sneeze, and discard used tissues in the trash.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Avoid people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
Clean frequently touched surfaces.
Use cleaning sprays and wipes to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as telephones and keyboards.
Do not associate with others if you are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills or fatigue.
AVOID LARGE CROWDS
If you have a scheduled office visit with your provider and would rather not physically go out to the office, contact your provider regarding an on-line meeting. If they can provide a Skype or Face Time meeting, have them pre-certify the reason for the meeting through the Trust Compliance office at: (844) KTF-Fund (583-3863). Approved on-line telemedicine office visits will be treated the same as a physical office visit.