ASHEVILLE, NC – May 3, 2022 – The Buncombe County COVID-19 Community & Media Update has been posted to county website. Buncombe County COVID-19 metrics are on the North Carolina COVID Dashboard. Data from the week ending on May 14 indicate:
- There are 268 cases per 100,000 residents in the last 7 days up 14% from the previous week.
- 66% of the total population have received their full primary vaccination series. This is unchanged for over 2 months
- 62% of people with full primary vaccination series have had at least one booster. This has unchanged since last week.
- The seven-day daily average of COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased by 53% over the past week and of ICU patients have decreased by 1 adult over the previous week.
- The CDC reports that the risk level for Buncombe County is low for the week ending May 12th.
- 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 moderately increasing for the time period ending May11th. The CDC website reports that the rate of change is moderately decreasing for the time period ending May 14th.
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.
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
- Effective May 4, 2022, the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services and the CDC recommends 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.
There are rising COVID-19 infections nationwide spurred by the more transmissible omicron variants, waning immunity from vaccines and fewer people wearing face masks. One third of Americans live in an area with medium or high COVID risk. There are rising cases and hospitalizations although death rates remain low. Areas of increased infection risk, as defined by the CDC, are in the Northeast and parts of the Upper Midwest. Dr Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, recommends that people living in those regions should consider wearing face masks in indoor public settings and adopt public health measures of protection and testing before going to indoor gatherings. Public health experts feel that people who test positive for COVID-19 should see a health care provider as soon as possible to find out if they are candidates for early treatment to prevent severe illness because treatments only work if begun quickly.
Listen to the full report below:
Contact: Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, firstname.lastname@example.org