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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 26, 2021
In the week since the last press release, Haywood County Public Health has received notice of 96 new cases of COVID-19. As of 5 p.m. on October 25, 2021, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has recorded a total of 7,408 cases in Haywood County since the pandemic began.
According to the CDC, most of North Carolina is listed as an area of high community transmission. All surrounding states are also high-transmission areas. Mask-wearing indoors is highly recommended. Masks are required in Haywood County facilities, including the libraries, for employees and the public.
This week 91.6 percent of new COVID cases were unvaccinated. Nearly all of those who require hospitalization are unvaccinated.
COVID-19 booster shot appointments are now available for anyone 65 and up, or those 18 and up who are immune-compromised. You are eligible for a booster when you are:
6 months past the initial doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or
2 months past the initial dose of Johnson & Johnson
The focus this week is the administration of booster doses. Previous large-scale vaccination clinics were made possible by partnerships with emergency services and the hospital. Due to staffing and resource shortages in the healthcare system, the scale of an event like that is not feasible. Instead, the staff at the health department will be dedicating the bulk of this week to COVID-19 boosters. We are now scheduling appointments from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Wednesday-Friday. The goal is to get as many boosters administered this week as possible. Keep in mind that this is not a drive-thru clinic and residents will need to come into the health department for their injection.
Boosters will be by appointment only, to keep the process as efficient as possible so that the maximum number of people can be accommodated. Please call the COVID helpline at 828-356-2019 to book appointments.
“We know that getting your initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine and getting a timely booster if needed, are key to safely gathering together during the upcoming holidays. We want everyone to receive their booster in a timely manner and we will do our very best to accommodate. Please be patient when scheduling appointments during this exceptionally busy time,” said Public Health Director Sarah Henderson.
Multiple options for vaccination exist, including community partners like pharmacies and health clinics that are also providing walk-in first and second-dose vaccinations and boosters.
For more information on this or other vaccination sites visit: www.vaccines.gov
Citizens who test positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to reach out to friends or family that meet the close contact criteria, and encourage them to self-quarantine and get tested 5-6 days after their exposure to the individual who tested positive. The end goal is to reduce community spread and keep COVID numbers on the downward trend.
Businesses need to be mindful that having quarantined employees return to work too quickly could cause a cluster of cases in the workplace. We ask that employers rely on the honor system and encourage employees who have been exposed to quarantine for the recommended time frame of 14 days from the date of exposure to help reduce potential spread.