ASHEVILLE, NC – August 16, 2023 – The COVID-19 metrics are on the CDC’s COVID Dashboard.
- For the week ending on July 29th, hospital admissions are at a low level in every county in North Carolina and almost 100% of the counties in the U.S. Buncombe County’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased
- For the week ending on August 5th, there were fewer than 10 deaths due to COVID last week in North Carolina, the lowest level of 6 groups.
- Emergency room visits for COVID-19 are minimal in North Carolina for the week ending on August 5th, the lowest level of 5 groups.
Wastewater monitoring can be used to provide early warning for COVID outbreaks. The Buncombe & Henderson counties wastewater data for the week ending on August 2th is on the North Carolina COVID Dashboard.
- The number of viral gene copies in each water sample is at a yellow level representing the middle level of 5 groups, currently between the 40th and 60th percentile relative to the past level measured at the same site. This is the highest level since April 14th.
- The 15-day rate of change of number of viral gene copies in each water sample is decreasing, between 0 to -9%, the 2nd lowest negative rate of change from 5 possible levels.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services wants everyone to know that:
- COVID-19 can affect people differently. Some people have mild symptoms like a cold and others have more severe symptoms like a bad case of the flu. Some effects can be long-lasting.
- Older adults and immunocompromised people are at a higher risk of developing severe illness and being hospitalized.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
- Stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines
- For extra protection, wear an efficient medical grade mask
- People who are positive for COVID-19 or do not feel well should stay home
- People with any COVID symptoms should get tested
- If you test positive, your doctor may recommend medical treatment
Most Americans have developed some immunity to COVID-19 from immunizations and previous infection. New variants continue to infect people with the most at-risk groups more susceptible to severe illness.
An updated COVID-19 vaccine will be available at the end of September which targets one of the current versions of the omicron strain. This may be the first of the annual fall shots for COVID-19, similar to the yearly fall shots available for the flu. Most respiratory viruses, like the flu and COVID-19, increase in the winter when people are indoors and travel during the holiday season. Covid-19 can also spike during the warmer summer months because people head indoors to air-conditioned spaces. Dr. Mandy Cohen, the new Director of the CDC, expects that people will get their annual COVID-19 shot at the same time as their flu shot at pharmacies and at work.
As told to the Asheville Citizen-Times on August 10th, Dr. Jennifer Mullendore, the Buncombe County Health and Human Services Medical Director, said, “COVID is part of our lives. It’s not going away any time in the near future. We just need to have a healthy respect for it and take appropriate action.”
Listen to the full report below:
Contact: Dr. Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, firstname.lastname@example.org