It has always been the principle of Pinal County public health to share COVID information as we receive it and also to be honest about how much remains unknown about COVID-19.
For example, new COVID variants are being identified about which we know very little and we continue to learn other information such as the recently identified rare blood clotting disorder that resulted in the pause of Janssen COVID vaccine. Once those cases were evaluated, on April 23 the CDC reaffirmed the use of Janssen with the added warning about the clotting disorder.
Both Moderna and Janssen continue to be available at various locations in Pinal County with appointments available. See the Pinal COVID vaccine locations page. Of note, 70.9% of Pinal residents 65 and older have been vaccinated; 53.5% of those 55-64 years of age; 40.4% of those 45-54 and 30% of those 35-44. We are grateful to our community partner, Sun Life, that is also vaccinating those medically unable to leave their homes.
On April 27, the CDC advised if you are fully vaccinated and have been around someone who has COVID-19, you no longer need to quarantine or stay away from others — or get tested unless you have symptoms. This does not apply if you live in a correctional or detention facility or group home — please test even without symptoms.
Other news — for those using hand sanitizers -— on Wednesday, the FDA announced that Scentsational Soaps & Candles had issued a voluntary nationwide recall of their scented hand sanitizers due to the presence of benzene, methanol and acetaldehyde. Recalled lots of hand sanitizer had been distributed nationwide through Ulta Beauty, TJ Maxx and Marshalls retail stores. So — here’s my shout out for using good old soap and water.
We have all been through a lot this past year but it looks like we are turning the corner for healthier summer months. For those days that may still be tough, sharing with you a nice motto: “Focus on Your 4 Walls.” Take care of yourself and your immediate family first — then everything outside of your four walls is easier to handle.
Editor’s note: Tascha Spears is Pinal County’s public health director. The above is from the county’s weekly update. The county’s health department website is here.