Buncombe County COVID case rates and percent positivity continues to decline; safe trick or treating encouraged

Press release from Buncombe County:

Buncombe County continues to see the case rate and percent positivity decline when compared to prior week. Cases per 100,000 per week decreased from 162 last week to 119 this week.  Percent positivity has remained below 6% for the last week and is currently at 5.4%. This case rate continues to be high, and Buncombe County remains an area of high transmission. The percent positivity, while improved, is higher than the desired 5%.

The death rate decreased since week prior but remains in the substantial indicating still a large burden of deaths for the population. In the last week, there were five new deaths reported.

Hospitalizations and ICU utilization remain stable for this week.

“I think we can be encouraged by these trends but we cannot let our guard down today,” states Public Health Director Stacie Saunders. “We are still in a time of very high spread of COVID-19 We have typically seen an increase associated with holidays like the ones coming up, so please continue to be diligent. Get vaccinated if you are not yet, wear your face covering in all indoor public spaces, keep some distance between you and others, and always remember to wash your hands.”

Currently, locally funded $100 incentive cards are available while supplies last for eligible individuals (18 years and up) receiving their first dose of vaccine at the Buncombe County Vaccination Clinic or at any BCHHS pop-up clinic. Individuals can visit the Buncombe County Health Department at 40 Coxe Ave., Asheville Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. to receive a vaccination. Individuals can also visit www.yourspotyourshot.nc.gov to find a vaccination site near you.

Remember to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces to help stop the spread during this time of continued high transmission.

If you are having symptoms consistent with COVID-19, get tested. Testing locations can be found at Find My Testing Site NC. StarMed offers testing at Harrah’s Event Center Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and on Sundays at A-B Tech from noon until 4 p.m.

Halloween is fast approaching, stay safe by following some simple tips. If you are trick or treating:

–          Keep it outside. Trick or treat in small groups and avoid crowds particularly indoors

–          Remember to wear a costume that allows you to wear a face covering

–          Maintain six feet of distance between you and other trick or treating groups, especially if knocking and gathering near front doors

–          If you are 12 years or older and not yet vaccinated, now is the time to get your vaccine

–          Grown-ups: Carry hand sanitizer with you while trick or treating and remind children to use it between candy stops


If you are handing out treats this Halloween:

–          Wear a face covering while interacting with trick or treaters

–          Set up a candy table and distribute candy outside and not at your front door

–          Remind groups to stay six feet apart so there are not too many people gathered together

–          Consider making grab bags or lay out individual pieces of candy on a table to avoid several hands in a candy bowl

–          Have some sanitizer ready for visitors to use

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