Person County woman with long-term COVID-19 symptoms urges vaccinations

PERSON COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Saying "COVID is definitely real," Monica McGhee from Person County is urging others to get the vaccine.

"At first, I was hesitant about taking it then I caught it," McGhee said. "I was ready for my vaccine, because I said I never want to experience those symptoms like I did with COVID. Because those symptoms -- they are no joke."

McGhee was diagnosed with COVID-19 back in January.

"I woke up with a bad headache. I had a burning in my chest that didn't go away," said McGhee.

Two months later those symptoms did go away, but now it's July, and others still linger.

"Your taste is never the same -- feeling tired all the time. It's been a challenge. I believe I have developed anxiety because of COVID because I was so scared," said McGhee.

McGhee is what some health leaders would consider a survivor with long-term symptoms of COVID.

Which can include symptoms she describes and these: Lack of concentration, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and cough.

On Monday, the Biden Administration announced COVID-19 long haulers may qualify for benefits under the American Disabilities Act, a 31-year-old law protects people with disabilities from discrimination.

The Department of Justice and Health and Human Services released guidelines Monday for how long-haulers could receive reasonable accommodations if their symptoms are a physical or mental impairment and substantially limits their lifestyle.

Long-haulers would first have to be assessed to see whether they qualify for special accommodations.

Here are some examples of assistance someone might get:

  • Extra time taking a test

  • Help pumping gas

  • Use of a service animals would be allowed in restricted areas.

The Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has a page on civil rights and COVID-19.

If you believe that an entity covered by HHS civil-rights laws has violated your rights protected under these authorities, you may file a complaint here.

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