- COVID-19 Information
Call 828-356-2019 to book an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccination!
1) How Contagious is Omicron?
Omicron has proved to be more transmissible than Delta and more than able to outcompete Delta. In some places, like Florida, for instance, in just the past 2 weeks the rate of new cases has moved the state from among the lowest in the country to one of the highest rates.
2) Doesn’t Omicron cause less severe illness than Delta?
There is some data from other countries that suggest Omicron may cause a lower rate of severe illness- hospitalization, need for ventilator care, and death. But be aware- lower, if true, does not mean thatbad outcomes will not occur. More people will get infected by Omicron so that a lower percentage of severe illness will still mean a lot of severe illness. The bottom line — there may well be more people suffering bad outcomes and death with Omicron than with Delta
3) Won’t everyone get Omicron? Each variant has proven to be more resistant to immunity produced by infection and/or vaccination. With Omicron, more vaccinated people will get infected, and more previously infected will get re-infected. So far, most of those vaccinated and re-infected have had a milder illness. Those not previously infected or vaccinated will likely suffer the most severe outcomes.
4) Why don’t the vaccines work?
Two-dose vaccines proved very effective for Delta; not so much with Omicron with reduced effectiveness against infection at 35%. Boosters increase immunity to around 75%, near the previously protective levels seen with Delta. Protection against hospitalization and death continues to be about the same. Bottom line- if you have been vaccinated with 2 doses, you should have a third dose to get that level of benefit.
5) If I already had Covid, am I not protected?
If you were previously infected, your immunity may last from 3-15 months. For most, it will last around 6 months. Getting a booster results in the best level of immunity and protection. Bottom line — if previously infected more than 6 months ago and you don’t know your level of immunity, get a booster.
6) What should I do now?
Because of the increased chance for exposure and resulting infection, it is time to be careful in higher-risk situations whether vaccinated or not — crowded spaces, indoors, poorer ventilation, around those whose immune status you cannot know. The best move is to avoid such circumstances. Next best if you must be in such a situation is to avoid being a close contact — avoid being within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes not wearing a face-covering around those not wearing a face covering.
7) What should my family do when we get together?
If gathering with family and friends, make sure everyone agrees to be careful. Anyone with suggestive symptoms agrees to stay away. For everyone else attending, it’s better if everyone tests with a rapid antigen test a couple of days before the gathering and the morning of the gathering for a better chance that no one there is infected, contagious but not yet showing any symptoms
8) If I get really sick can’t I just go to the hospital? --Healthcare and EMS systems are already strained, and we will just start seeing the effect from Christmas gatherings and travel by the end of this week, not to mention the effect from New Year and beyond. Add to that the impact of more people getting Omicron, including healthcare workers, which will further add to staffing shortages. Right now, it is in everyone’s best interest to do everything possible to not get infected because a strained healthcare and EMS affects everyone, Covid related or not. This has been the case for many weeks now, but it is no more important than right now.
Slow the spread guidance
North Carolina to Close Restaurants and Bars for Dine-In Customers, Allow Takeout and Delivery
Resource list from NCDHHS for a variety of stakeholders
Mountain Projects implements assistance hotline
County Department / Community Closings
Governor Declares Schools Closed, Public Gatherings Banned
Memo- Community and Faith Based Organizations
COVID-19 Information and Preparedness Tips
Memo-Facilities that Serve High Risk Population
Mitigation Guidance 3/12/20
Proclamation of Emergency
Can I or should I be vaccinated?
If I have the antibodies (had a mild case) should I take the shot?
As long as you are not actively ill with COVID-19 and are symptom-free, you may be vaccinated.
Since the vaccines are live cultures, are they safe, and/or will the vaccine be administered to individuals with significant allergies or auto-immune issues?
Neither Pfizer nor Moderna vaccines use live cultures. If you have allergies to ingredients in either one, you should not be vaccinated. Find out more about each vaccine here: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/index.html
Should I get Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, or do I have a choice?
All vaccine options are now available in Haywood County.
- Learn more about the different vaccines available: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html
- Everyone ages 5 and up is eligible to be vaccinated. The only vaccine currently approved for those 5-18 is Pfizer-BioNTech.
How can I get updates on the vaccination efforts in Haywood County?
Watch for weekly vaccine rollout press releases on Fridays through the media, the county website www.haywoodcountync.gov and on the county’s social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.
Can any adult, regardless of health condition, get vaccinated now?
As a seasonal resident, do I have to get both shots in Haywood County, or can I get shot 1 here, and shot 2 elsewhere?
Seasonal residents who have their first shot in Haywood County need to commit to having both here. Second shots are scheduled 3-4 weeks after the first shot, depending on the vaccine.
Making an Appointment
How do I book an appointment?
Appointments can be made online at https://myspot.nc.gov/ or by phone at 828-356-2019
Initial Dose Appointment
I am going out of town soon, what should I know about booking the initial and 2nd shot appointments?
You should not book an initial appointment if you don’t plan to be in town during the time frame for your second dose (21-28 days after the first). Second doses are allotted to the county where you got the first, so you need to be present in the same county for both shots. Please try to commit to finishing the series when considering whether to accept the first appointment.
What type of ID do I need for my appointment?
ID is not required.
My card does not say where to go for my second appointment, where do I go?
Unless otherwise notified, you will receive your second dose at the same location as your first.
I will be out of town for the second dose, what do I do?
You should try to consider this when scheduling a first dose appointment. Keep in mind that second doses are scheduled 21 days after first dose for Pfizer and 28 days after first dose for Moderna.
What happens if I miss my second dose completely?
The studies indicate that 2 weeks after the first dose, a person gets around 50% of the immunity; two weeks after the second dose, this increases to 95%.
Ideally, you should get the second dose at the specified time — 21 days for Pfizer; 28 days for Moderna. Although not recommended, the second dose can be delayed up to 6 weeks after the first dose in the event of delayed supply, but there are no studies that confirm this is as effective.
How long is the immunity with the COVID-19 vaccination expected to last once both doses are given?
Full immunity (about 95% protection) is reached two weeks after the second dose. COVID vaccines retain high effectiveness for at least six months after the second shot. A third "booster" dose helps restore immunity to levels close to that of initial vaccination.
Although the risk is much reduced, the vaccine does not guarantee absolute protection, it may still be possible to become infected. Mask wearing, social distancing, and handwashing remain essential.
General Vaccine Questions
Are Ingles or other pharmacies vaccinating?
- Yes, visit https://myspot.nc.gov/ to book appointments.
Can I be vaccinated anywhere in NC?
Book appointments at https://myspot.nc.gov/
For statewide COVID-19 questions call 1-877-490-6642
CDC UPDATED GUIDANCE ON ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE- 12/28/2021
Isolation — care of someone infected. A person remains possibly contagious for 10 days
Quarantine — care after a close contact exposure. This period is now 10 days.
Fully vaccinated— person has received each dose they are eligible to receive. (For example, a person who has received 2 doses of mRNA vaccine or 1 does of J&J and who is eligible for a booster dose, but has not had that booster dose, is no longer considered fully vaccinated.)
This applies whether unvaccinated, recovered, partially vaccinated or fully vaccinated.
As soon as you develop any suggestive symptoms, isolate away from anyone and everyone until test result is available. (If you live with others, stay in a separate room preferably with a separate bathroom.)
If antigen or PCR test is positive, continue isolation for 5 days (first day of symptoms is day 0)
If antigen test is negative, have a PCR test and continue isolation until PCR result is back
If PCR is negative, wear a face-covering until your symptoms are gone to prevent sharing whatever you have to others
If you test positive after a close contact or test for some other reason, and have no symptoms, isolate for 5 days (test date is day 0)
After 5 days
If you have no fever for the prior 24 hours off of any medicine that would suppress a fever
AND symptoms are improving
you never had symptoms and remain with no symptoms
Then you may discontinue being separate from anyone and everyone. (see below for testing recommendations at this point in time)
You will need to continue to wear a well-fitting mask when around anyone else, especially family, for 5 more days to finish out the entire 10-day contagious period.
Guide to masks-
Care after a close contact exposure (within 6 feet of someone known to be positive, for more than 15 minutes, neither person wearing a face covering, starting 2 days before the positive person developed symptoms).
If fully vaccinated, no separation period is required. Mask use at all times during the 10-day period is recommended. Get tested on day 5. If positive, see isolation above.
If unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or recovered from Covid and not fully vaccinated,
separate from anyone and everyone for 5 days. (If you live with others, stay in a separate room preferably with a separate bathroom.)
AND get tested at day 5. If positive, see isolation above.
If test negative and you remain without any suggestive symptoms, continue proper mask use around anyone and everyone for the next 5 days.
What has changed
The time period for isolation has not changed. The time period for quarantine is now 10 days. These updates provide guidance in how to manage the entire time period.
Effective mask use is critical to this guidance - well fitted, proper material, worn at all times (covering nose and mouth) around anyone and everyone. If this cannot be done, then a person should remain separated from anyone and everyone for the entire period whether in isolation after a positive test or quarantining from a close contact exposure.
Guide to masks-
ADDITIONAL CDC CLARIFICATIONS
CDC did not intend to imply that a person’s responsibility to prevent spread stops at day 5. The requirements in this guidance for days 6-10 are equally important.
CDC acknowledges this guidance was shared in the face of rapidly increasing cases to address workforce shortages. They acknowledge this introduces an increased risk of spread. Their hope is the benefit of keeping people at work more than makes up for this increased risk.
CDC points out that although most people are no longer contagious after 5 days, they in no way intend for people to think the chance stops at day 5. Some people once infected continue to be contagious after 5 days of isolation, and some continue to develop Covid after 5 days of quarantine.
If you are in high-risk group or if you live with someone who may not do well if they were to get Covid, you may not want to follow this guidance, but rather stay with the prior guidelines that are safer.
CDC intends this to be for the general population. They will be releasing guidelines for other situations, like schools, congregate and group living arrangements, like nursing homes, jails, and the like. This guidance does not replace the guidelines recently put out for healthcare workers.
CDC did not include a recommendation for needing a negative test to end separation during the isolation period. They would have preferred this, but the current supply issues with test availability made this not practical in their opinion. If you can get a test, this would be preferable as an extra measure to be sure you won’t give your infection to others.
CDC has not specified what ‘if not feasible to quarantine’ means.
CDC makes clear these recommendations do not supersede state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.