ASHEVILLE, NC – April 5, 2022 – Buncombe County COVID-19 metrics are on the North Carolina COVID Dashboard. Data from April 5 indicate:
- There are 40 cases per 100,000 residents in the last 7 days. There have been no significant changes for the past 3 weeks.
- 66% of the total population have received their full primary vaccination series. This is unchanged for almost 2 months
- There are fewer COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU patients over the past week.
- The CDC reports that the risk level for Buncombe County is low for the week ending April 7.
- Wastewater surveillance may provide an early warning before individual testing shows that COVID-19 is spreading. The state dashboard reports that the 15-day rate of change of viral load for the Metropolitan Sewer District for Buncombe County is mildly rising for the time period ending March 30th. The CDC website reports that it is decreasing for the time period ending April 5th. This may be predictive of a falling case rate one week later.
On April 5, the Department of Health and Human Services posted the Buncombe County COVID-19 Community Update and Public Health Director Stacie Saunders briefed the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. The update will be posted less frequently, once a month, because of the improving COVID situation. Stacie Saunders will brief the Board once a month for 1 to 2 more months. In the report she said “Be aware of symptoms or exposure to those with COVID-19 and get tested if you have been exposed or feel ill. If you are high risk for severe illness, talk to your provider about COVID treatment options.” The Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
- 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
Vaccination sites and testing sites can be located through the North Carolina and Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services. An equity-focused vaccination effort to reach underserved rural communities and populations will expand with the addition of a mobile vaccination van. The federal “Test to Treat” program has expanded to urgent care centers and local pharmacies. There are 6 locations within 10 miles of Asheville. Present and future locations are on the national Health & Human Services website. This is a one stop process that allows for testing, assessment, prescription, and treatment to take place at one convenient location making access easier and removing barriers to care.
Save your face masks:
- The risk level may rise with a new variant
- A person at high risk for severe illness should speak with their health care provider
- Mask wearing is recommended for persons with a positive test, having symptoms, or exposure to someone with COVID-19
- Governor Cooper’s executive order requires everyone to wear a mask in “high risk” settings like health care facilities, nursing homes, correctional facilities and homeless shelters.
Contact: Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, firstname.lastname@example.org