Troup County reacts to rising cases; local doctor recommends vitamins, exercise and testing

Published 11:30 am Tuesday, January 4, 2022

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As COVID cases continue to rise to record levels in Troup County, community members and officials face uncertainty in their work and school lives.

The last four daily updates from the Georgia Department of Public Health — Dec. 28 through Dec. 31 — Troup County recorded record new cases of COVID-19. GDPH said Monday that its system was overloaded with data but that it would provide a new update on Tuesday afternoon.

Ken Horlander, a physician for Emory at LaGrange, recommends individuals with COVID-19, or symptoms similar to the flu, take vitamins and stay active. He also recommends practicing precaution in public if you feel you are unable to get tested at the moment.

Horlander, a physician for Emory at LaGrange, said he recommends three vitamins to people in the community when they come into his office.

“If possible, I recommend people get some vitamin C, zinc and vitamin d3 just to boost up their immune systems while they’re sick with any respiratory infection, honestly,” Horlander said.

The Georgia Department of Public Health said it has partnered with pharmacies to help citizens get the supplies they need.

Per guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), initial allocations were made to federal pharmacy partners. DPH has partnered with Walmart, Walgreens, and Good Neighbor Pharmacy Group (a group of small independent pharmacies) to ensure coverage across the state, according to the press release.

Horlander said he does not intend to keep his patients on these vitamins long term. He encourages his patients to adapt to the changing circumstance by changing their diet and lifestyle.

“But I don’t keep people on those for their whole life. That’s what a lot of people do, they stay on these things. You don’t need to do that. You need a good diet for your life, for catching the cold,” Horlander said. “Do those three vitamins and stay active. That’s a huge one. People who just lay around  — COVID seems to thrive.”

GDPH said in its press release that certain drugs may be hard to find.

“The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is announcing the allocation of Merck and Pfizer oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19 to select retail pharmacies in Georgia. Initial supply of Molnupiravir and Paxlovid from the federal government is very limited. DPH anticipates additional allocations in the coming weeks as production increases,” according to the press release.

Horlander said if you have COVID, vaccination is still your best option.

“If you’re in that situation, you should be the first one at the door. And anyone who’s at higher risk, all those high risk groups we’ve heard about before, the vaccines are still free,” Horlander said.

Horlander said he saw the holidays being the reason many citizens put off getting their vaccine or booster.

“I have so many people who have recently gotten COVID said, yeah, it was putting it off until after the holidays, so I could visit my family and not feel sick from the shot. And now here they have COVID,” Horlander said.

Gloria Jones Poole, a citizen of Troup County, said she is not surprised by the rise in cases as she experienced people not taking necessary precautions.

“Obviously, it’s going to concern you because I know that during this time of COVID, here in Troup County, I have just seeing absolutely too many people not taking advantage of doing the simple things,” Poole said

Horlander said many of the myths around COVID and the vaccine have been proven incorrect.

“It’s safe, it’s protective, keeps people out of the hospital [and] keeps people from dying,” he said.

Horlander said he recommends testing but understands if an individual may not be able to find the test.

“If you can get tested, please get tested because that will let you know. You could have the flu or something else similar,” Horlander said. “If you don’t have the funds, you may not be able to go somewhere to get tested. Even if you have funds, you may not be able to get tested because the tests are overwhelmed right now.”

Darlene Delaney, a Troup County resident, said her family was negatively affected by the Omicron variant this holiday season.

“[I’ve] been vaccinated [with] both my vaccinations. I’ve had the COVID infusion test, but yet still my family member called me because of my grandson,” Delaney said. “They’ve been around their families that had COVID.”