Local government

Covid finally finds Malheur County Health Department Director

ONTARIO – On the front lines of the Covid pandemic since early 2020, Sarah Poe knew she was exposed to the virus numerous times.
Yet she never fell ill. Her friends and family caught the virus. Her daughter was hit twice by the malady.
But not Poe.
Until recently.
More than two years after the first case of the Covid virus was detected in Malheur County, Poe, the director of the Malheur County Health Department, woke up earlier this month not feeling well.
“Mostly, I had a head cold,” said Poe.
After she encountered symptoms, Poe said she used a home test kit to determine if she had the virus.
“I tested negative at first,” said Poe.
Yet Poe said she didn’t take any chances.
“I took precautions as soon as I felt like I was having symptoms with a stuffy nose and headache,” said Poe.
The day after she completed her first test she tried again. This time she came up positive.
“I did not feel well for four days and was home sick. I isolated five days. As long as someone’s symptoms are improving it’s a five-day isolation,” said Poe.
After day five, she said she was tired but felt better.
Poe said her brush with the Covid virus could have been worse.
“Had I not had four doses of vaccine on board, I would probably be a lot sicker,” she said.
Poe has been a big advocate for vaccines since they became available and she believes her Covid case is a good example of why inoculations are so important.
“We know overall that people who have vaccine have far less severe cases than people who do not have protection from vaccine. I do trust that my immune response through vaccination helped keep me as healthy as possible and able to recover quickly,” said Poe.
Poe returned to work after her quarantine at home.
Her best advice to avoid Covid? Get vaccinated.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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