COVID infection rates grow, 92% of cases in unvaccinated individuals

Press release via Buncombe County Government

On Wednesday, July 21, Buncombe County public health director Stacie Saunders provided an update on the recent rise in COVID-19 cases. In the last week, on average, 16 new cases have entered the daily workflow, up from fewer than eight cases a day. About 92% of all new cases in Buncombe County are among individuals who are not fully vaccinated and the average age of those individuals is 39.

“In the last two weeks, there has been a clear and steady increase in cases each day,” said Saunders. “With the more transmissible Delta variant growing exponentially and now being the predominant strain in our state, the greatest risk is for our younger, unvaccinated friends, family members and neighbors.” In Buncombe County, 54% of individuals ages 25-49 are fully vaccinated.


  • 18,349 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Buncombe County since the pandemic started.
  • Cases per 100,000 per week have increased from 34 to 51 in the past week.
  • Percent positivity, which had been consistently under 2.0% just a few weeks ago, has grown to 3.4%, indicating increased viral community transmission
  • There have been 327 COVID-19 related deaths.
  • Roughly 80% of adults 65 and older in Buncombe County are fully vaccinated.
  • 54% of the total Buncombe County population is partially vaccinated and 52% is fully vaccinated.

“The more the virus spread amongst us, the more we give it the opportunity to create additional mutations and possibly more variants,” said Saunders. “When we are not vaccinated, we act as factories for the virus, but the good news is, we can limit that viral supply chain and limit the productivity of the virus with vaccines.”

Buncombe County Health and Human Services vaccine administration takes place at the Buncombe County Health Department, 40 Coxe Ave., Asheville. Walk-in vaccines are available between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Appointments can be scheduled online at Additional vaccine providers can be found by visiting

Individuals who are not vaccinated should practice precautions like mask-wearing and social distancing.


Visit the Find My Testing Place website to register for COVID-19 testing in Buncombe County. Individuals who are showing symptoms or believe they have had close contact to COVID-19 should get tested.

More Information

To view the full update in English, go to The view the full update in Spanish, go to

Saunders will provide an additional COVID-19 update to the Board of Commissioners at its Aug. 3 meeting.

For more information about COVID-19 and vaccines in Buncombe County, go to

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