ASHEVILLE, NC – May 4, 2022 – According to the North Carolina COVID Dashboard, data from the week ending on April 27 indicate the case rate is up 45% over the previous week. The May 3rd Buncombe County COVID Community Update opines that “This coincides with an incubation following Spring Break and Holidays where increased in-person interactions likely occurred.”
On May 4th, Buncombe County Health and Human Services hosted a virtual media question and answer session. Public Health Director, Stacie Saunders, reminded everyone that “The pandemic is not over.”
This is the time of year for large gatherings, like weddings, graduations, reunions and celebrations. Many may be held indoors, particularly during the cooler fall season. Stacie Saunders feels that it is very important to follow public health COVID precautions when planning to attend a gathering. She recommends that being outdoors is best, keep plenty of space between yourself and others, and wash your hands.
Stacie Saunders outlined a detailed review of current public health precautions. Consider your personal health risk and personal tolerance of risk of becoming infected. It is important to consider the community risk level and whether you know the health and vaccination status of the people at the event.
The best scenario is that everyone is up-to-date with their COVID vaccinations. Some gatherings may require showing their vaccination card, but it may not be up-to-date with boosters. There may be COVID immunity in the community due to the high vaccination rate and from some people having had COVID recently.
Everyone should get tested if exposed to COVID prior to the event or having symptoms. All symptomatic persons should not attend and should stay at home away from others, even if their test is negative because it can become positive in a few days. The antigen test and the PCR test are both good quality tests. Free at-home tests can be obtained at https://www.covid.gov/tests .
The most effective face covering is a high-quality medical-grade N95, KN95 & KN94 face mask. When choosing to wear a mask, choose the most protective mask against the newer highly contagious COVID virus strains. Dr. Tom Inglesby, the Biden administration’s Covid testing coordinator, said “We know that these masks provide better protection than cloth masks.”
Listen to the full report below:
Contact: Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, email@example.com