ASHEVILLE, NC – December 21, 2022 – The CDC reports that the community level for Buncombe County is low for the week ending December 13th. Most of the counties in the U.S. are at a low level. However, cases and hospitalizations are rising. Cities like Los Angeles and New York City are experiencing high community levels of COVID. The rise is due to a potential winter surge of respiratory disease as people spend more time indoors and because of indoor gatherings and holiday travel around Thanksgiving.
The Buncombe County COVID-19 metrics are on the North Carolina COVID Dashboard. Data from the week ending on December 10th indicate:
- Last week’s total cases are up 22% from the previous week.
- 68% of the total population have received their initial vaccination series.
- 28% of people with their initial vaccination series have the updated booster.
An updated COVID-19 booster is now available for eligible persons 6 months and older. It is more effective at protecting against severe illness and death from the new variants. Eligible persons must have the initial vaccination series and be at least 2 months after any prior COVID-19 shots. The CDC advises delaying the booster 3 months for people who recently had COVID or after a positive COVID test if they were asymptomatic.
To help reduce the spread of COVID this Holiday season, President Biden is again making COVID tests, face masks and antiviral medicines available at no cost. The tests can be ordered via covidtests.gov or by calling 1-800-232-0233.
COVID-19 infections can spread through holiday gatherings and travel. Be extra protective if you are having guests from regions with a high community level like Los Angeles and New York City. Here’s some advice:
- People who are positive for COVID-19 or do not feel well should stay home
- Everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated and updated boosters
- Get tested before and after travel, before gatherings outside the household with at-risk people or if you have any COVID symptoms
- High risk persons should consider wearing a mask in indoor public spaces and when on public transportation, a high-quality medical mask is best
- Outdoor gatherings are safer than indoors; small gatherings are safer than large; and indoor gatherings are safer in larger spaces with the windows and doors open to allow fresh air to circulate
Vaccination sites and testing sites can be located through the North Carolina and Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services.
Listen to the full report below:
Contact: Dr. Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, email@example.com