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PEOPLE, NOT NUMBERS:
Since late August, Haywood County has continued to average 3-5 new COVID-19 cases per day. These recent infections mostly involve people letting their guard down and getting exposed at work or while traveling, then passing the virus on to other family members. One recent scenario of note involved a small Haywood County business, where a few employees have become infected. Because the business hasn’t met the guidance threshold of five employees infected, it doesn’t officially meet the definition of a cluster. However, the infections at the business have had a ripple effect in the community as individuals have passed the virus on to family members and customers. The attached graphic illustrates one strand of cases resulting from this group. We wanted to share this example of Haywood County data to show people that “it only takes 1” to affect many.
Six months into the COVID pandemic, 544 Haywood County residents have been infected. Of those infected, 217 have been male, 327 have been female and, tragically, 31 people have died. The chart below, based on data provided from the state earlier this week, shows a breakdown of age information.
(% total cases)
Age Group (Years)
The Importance of Flu Shots, Especially During a Pandemic
As we’ve noted before, cold and flu season is quickly approaching. Flu shots are now widely available, and we STRONGLY encourage everyone to get vaccinated this year. (The Health Department has flu shots available. Call 452-6675 to schedule an appointment.) Cold and flu season always brings a variety of respiratory viruses, runny noses, etc. Getting one virus can make you more susceptible to other viruses, so this year there’s a potential to get both the flu and COVID-19. Getting the flu vaccine is important to protect yourself and those around you, and to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed with patients. A few articles are attached in case you need more convincing. The first article is about flu shots for kids. The second is about new research that shows that a number of vaccines (including those for flu and pneumonia) might be capable of improving immunity overall, which could help reduce Alzheimer’s disease.
NCDHHS has a new COVID-19 exposure notification app called “SlowCOVIDNC.” It’s anticipated to launch across the state sometime later this month. The app will help North Carolinians slow the spread of the virus by alerting them when they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. SlowCOVIDNC, which leverages Google and Apple’s Exposure Notification System (ENS), will alert users that have the app if they have been in close contact with an individual who later tests positive for COVID-19. The app is completely anonymous and does not collect, store or share personal information or location data. SlowCOVIDNC is voluntary to download and use and designed to enhance the state’s existing contact tracing efforts. The app, which is currently in Beta testing, will be free of charge and available to download through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Visit this link to learn more: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/news/press-releases/ncdhhs-developing-slowcovidnc-exposure-notification-app-expected-launch
Remember a close contact is considered to be within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes and not wearing a face covering. Your best bet is to protect yourself and others by following the guidance above.
Please be sure to check reliable sources for COVID-19 information.