ASHEVILLE, NC – September 21, 2022 – The CDC reports that the transmission level for Buncombe County is low for the week ending September 8th. Most of North Carolina is low or medium although 27 out of 100 counties are at a high transmission level. Most of the counties in the U.S. are at a low or medium level with only 13% of the counties at a high level. For a community at a low transmission level, the CDC recommends:
- You may choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to protect yourself and others.
- If you are at high risk for severe illness, consider wearing a mask indoors in public and take additional precautions.
The Buncombe County COVID-19 metrics are on the North Carolina COVID Dashboard. Data from the week ending on September 7th indicate:
- There have been 125 cases per 100,000 residents in the last 7 days down from 136 cases in the previous week.
- 67% of the total population have received their primary vaccination series. Unchanged the past 6 weeks.
- 66% of people with their primary vaccination series have had at least one booster. This is unchanged over the past 4 weeks.
- The seven-day daily average of COVID-19 hospitalizations is 58 and has increased by 1 since last week, and of ICU patients is 7 and is unchanged from the previous week.
- 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 Buncombe County is moderately decreasing for the time period ending September 7th. The CDC website reports that the 15-day rate of change of viral load is severely increasing for the time period ending September 15th.
The FDA and the CDC approved a new COVID booster that targets the original virus and the new dominant BA.4 and BA.5 variants. This new booster will replace the previous booster shot that had targeted only the original version of the virus. However, the original vaccine will still be used for persons who have not received the primary vaccination series. The booster shots will be available at the Department of Public Health Coxe Avenue vaccination clinic, pharmacies, community health centers and rural health clinics. Eligible persons 12 years old and up can have the booster. They must be at least 2 months after any prior COVID-19 shots and have had the primary vaccination series. The CDC advises that people who recently had COVID consider delaying their boosters until 3 months after their symptoms started 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 boosters.
- 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.
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
- Persons with a positive test, having symptoms, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should protect themselves and others by wearing a mask.
- Effective May 4, 2022, the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services and the CDC recommend wearing masks in health care and long-term care settings. The N95 or KN95 mask offers the best protection. Wear a mask that is well-fitting.
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Contact: Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, firstname.lastname@example.org