Buncombe County COVID-19 Community Update: COVID-19 Hospitalizations & ICU Admissions Have Increased
ASHEVILLE, NC – On February 1, the Department of Health and Human Services and Public Health Director Stacie Saunders briefed the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners about the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic and posted the weekly Buncombe County COVID-19 Community Update.
- There is a decrease in the COVID-19 case rate by 4% this week. Last week it was down by 21%.
- There is an increase in hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths in Western North Carolina this week.
- Percent positivity is 24%, well above the 5% level, indicative of a high transmission rate.
- COVID-19 patients comprise 16% of inpatient hospital beds including 37% of ICU beds
- 69% of the eligible population are fully vaccinated up from 68% last week; almost 55% of the fully vaccinated have received boosters.
- Unvaccinated people represent 70% of hospitalizations and 79% of ICU admissions due to COVID-19 in North Carolina.
Stacie Saunders said “we expect cases to continue to decrease, it is likely that the hospitalizations and deaths may also begin to see a decrease in the next several days to weeks…We are clearly still a community with high transmission and it’s important to continue to take the basic steps to protect yourself with the tools that we have to fight COVID-19.” The Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
- Get vaccinated and boosters when eligible. Boosters are shown to provide significant protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death
- Get tested if exposed to someone with COVID-19 or have symptoms
- Stay at home if you are not feeling well, even with a negative Covid test
- Wear a mask when in public indoor spaces
Vaccination sites and testing sites can be located through the North Carolina and Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services.
At the Buncombe County Commissioner’s Briefing, Stacie Saunders said that the goal of 70% full vaccination has almost been reached although this number was established many months ago at the onset of vaccination. In light of the more highly transmissible Delta and Omicron strains and the effectiveness of boosters when eligible, she indicated at the February 2 virtual media Question & Answer session that “my goal is to get to everyone who wants vaccination and boosters.”
Listen to the full Healthy Asheville Report below: