News Flash

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Posted on: November 13, 2020

11-13-20 test status update, message from health director

COVID MESSAGE #37 – Rising Numbers, Testing for College Students, and Tips for a Safe Holiday and Beyond

PEOPLE, NOT NUMBERS:

  • COVID numbers are going up both nationwide and in Haywood County. In fact, we’ve seen as many new cases in the first two weeks of November as we saw the entire month of September. Since we continue to see patterns suggesting that people are relaxing their COVID guard around extended family, coworkers, and friends, we anticipate the COVID situation getting worse with the holidays approaching and increasingly cold weather pushing people indoors.
    • Case patterns this week include exposures from positives in the household, work exposures, travel exposures, and exposures from funerals, parties, and other events or situations where people have gathered in large groups.
    • We are continuing to see a steady and concerning rise in new cases compared to September and early October. Here’s a picture of the past month:
      • October 22, 2020: 693 cases total (26 new cases for the week)
      • October 29: 726 cases total  (33 cases for the week)
      • November 5: 783 cases total (57 new cases for the week)
      • November 12: 847 (64 new cases for the week)
    • The daily COVID Working Number is also worth watching. The number of people currently in isolation after testing positive plus the number of people currently in quarantine after being identified as the close contact of a positive = The COVID Working Number.  It fluctuates each day as some people are released from quarantine and isolation while others are added, but it provides a solid indicator of the current COVID caseload burden on Haywood County. At its highest in July, this number reached 377. In September, it got as low as 56. This Tuesday it was up to 203. Here’s a picture of the last month in terms of the COVID working number:
      • October 22: 139
      • October 29:  147
      • November 5: 191
      • November 12: 188
  • The state is now providing COVID-19 tests to colleges and universities across North Carolina to help bolster schools’ testing efforts in advance of Thanksgiving and the holiday break. “We encourage everyone to plan ahead and get a COVID-19 test before they leave campus or gather with friends and family over the holidays,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, MD. “But even if a test result is negative, it’s not a guarantee. Tests represent a moment in time. So students and their families should still practice the 3Ws and wear a mask, wash hands often, and keep a distance of 6 feet from others.” The full press release is attached, with links embedded in the document to additional guidance and safety tips.
  • See the attached guidance for having a safe Thanksgiving. With the holidays approaching, be mindful and do what needs to be done this year, including modifying your celebration expectations, to make sure that your loved ones are still here for the holidays next year.
  • It’s repetitive information, but it seems important to remind everyone: do what you can to not be a close contact to anyone. Follow these basic rules, and be aware that they apply whether your indoors or outdoors any time you’re going to be around people who don’t live in your household, including extended family, neighbors, close friends, and coworkers:
    • KEEP AT LEAST SIX FEET OF DISTANCE
    • WEAR A MASK, especially if you can’t maintain at least six feet of distance.
    • WASH YOUR HANDS frequently, and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces.
    • As always, if you don’t feel well, stay home, isolate from others in your household, and call your provider to discuss whether you need testing.
  • Get your information from reliable resources:

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