ASHEVILLE, NC – On March 8, the Department of Health and Human Services and Public Health Director Stacie Saunders posted the weekly Buncombe County COVID-19 Community Update. In the report she said that the “seeing our trends continue to improve and cases continue to decrease is a welcomed sign that the Omicron surge is fading.”
- Over the past week there is a decrease in the new case rate by 32%, with fewer hospital and ICU beds occupied with COVID-19 patients, and no change in the death rate. The new case rate is 105 cases per 100,00 people per week. COVID-19 patients occupy only 3.3% of inpatient hospital beds and 10.5% of ICU beds.
- Percent positivity is 6.5% compared to 8.6% last week.
- 66% of the total population have received their full primary vaccination series. This is unchanged from last week but below the goal of at least 70%.
- 57% of fully vaccinated people have received boosters. This is up 1% from three weeks ago.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommend:
- Get vaccinated and boosted when eligible.
- People with any COVID symptoms or exposure to someone with COVID should get tested
- People who are positive for COVID-19 or do not feel well should stay home and away from other people to keep from spreading it to others
Vaccination sites and testing sites can be located through the North Carolina and Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services. COVID-19 vaccinations are still available at the Health Department Immunization Clinic at 40 Coxe Ave. from Monday to Friday between 8 AM and 4:30 PM on a walk-in basis.
The CDC recently released a new tool to monitor COVID-19 risk for each county. The risk levels are green for low, yellow for medium, and orange for high. The CDC’s safety guidelines and prevention recommendations are now based on the level of COVID-19 risk for each county and its impact on hospital resources. The risk level for Buncombe County is medium for the week ending on March 10. Face masks should be worn by people in crowded areas who are at high risk for severe illness. Mask wearing is recommended for persons with a positive test, having symptoms, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 no matter what the county risk level is. Governor Cooper has issued a new executive order requiring everyone to wear a mask in “high risk” settings like health care facilities, nursing homes, correctional facilities and homeless shelters.
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Contact: Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, firstname.lastname@example.org