ASHEVILLE, NC – January 18, 2022 – There has been a surge of respiratory disease as people spend more time indoors during the winter months and due to an increase in indoor gatherings and travel during the holidays. The CDC reports that the community level for Buncombe County is medium for the week ending January 9th. Most of the counties in North Carolina are high. Most of the counties in the U.S. are at a low level with almost 14% of the counties at a high level down from almost 20% last week.
The Buncombe County COVID-19 metrics are on the North Carolina COVID Dashboard. Data from the week ending on January 7th indicate:
• Last week’s total cases are down 10% from the previous week.
• 68% of the total population have received their initial vaccination series.
• 30% of people with their initial vaccination series have had the updated booster. Unchanged from last week.
• The seven-day daily average of COVID-19 hospitalizations has increased by 32% since last week, and of ICU patients increased by 33% from the previous week.
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.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
• Stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines and the updated booster.
• People with any COVID symptoms should get tested
• People who are positive for COVID-19 or do not feel well should stay home
For a county at a medium community level, like Buncombe County, the CDC recommends:
• If you are at high risk for getting sick, wear a high-quality mask in a public indoors space and take additional precautions.
• If you plan being with someone at high risk for getting sick, consider self-testing for COVID-19 infection and wear a high-quality mask when indoors with them.
Vaccination sites and testing sites can be located through the North Carolina and Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services.
The updated booster shot is available at the Department of Public Health Coxe Avenue vaccination clinic, pharmacies, community health centers and rural health clinics.
Listen to the full report below:
Contact: Dr. Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, email@example.com