Press release from Buncombe County:
The Buncombe County COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 has continued to fall in the last week. Last week, this indicator was 386 cases per 100,000, and this week it has fallen to 237 cases per 100,000. The current percent positivity is 12.2 compared to 15.5 one week ago.
Deaths have decreased since last week with 14 reported deaths submitted to the dashboard, bringing the deaths per 100,000 to just over 5. As stated in previous weeks, deaths may continue to be high despite cases continuing to decrease. Hospitalizations are also continuing to decrease with Mission Health reporting 84 COVID-19 patients system-wide.
Vaccinations continue to slowly increase with 72% of the eligible population having at least one dose and 69% of the population with the full primary series. Boosters doses continue to rise with 96,240 total 3rd/booster doses being administered in Buncombe County.
The 40 Coxe COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic has been integrated into the Health Department Immunization Clinic as of Monday, Feb. 21. This clinic is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and COVID-19 vaccines will be available on a walk-in basis. Visit www.myspotmyshot.nc.gov for a vaccine provider near you.
Public health officials continue to stress the importance of being fully vaccinated and emphasize the importance of the booster doses as well.
Please stay home and away from others if you are symptomatic or have COVID-19 to keep from spreading it to others. It is still important to bring the rate of infection down by following simple preventative steps such as staying home when you are ill, wearing a face covering in public, and handwashing. Testing is available in many locations. If you need to be tested for COVID-19, please visit www.findmytestingplace.nc.gov.
Public health officials are reminding the community that there are ways to reduce your risk:
-Vaccinate: Vaccinate yourself, if not already, and get boosted when eligible.
-Test: Get tested if you have ANY symptoms of COVID-19 or know you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
-Mask: Buncombe County Health and Human Services Public Health still strongly recommends the continued use of face coverings in all public indoor spaces, even if you are vaccinated.
As of Feb. 11, the CDC stated that it is no longer necessary to delay vaccination following receipt of monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma. The CDC has also updated guidance about additional doses for moderately to severely immunocompromised people.
-The booster dose for those who received three doses of Pfizer or Moderna is now recommended at least 3 months after the 3rd dose.
-For those who received the J&J vaccine as their primary series, a single booster dose is recommended at least 2 months after the 2nd additional dose, for a total of 3 doses (1 J&J followed by 1 additional mRNA dose, then 1 booster dose). mRna vaccines are preferred for the booster dose.