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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Haywood County returns to Orange COVID status
July 22, 2021
Contact: Allison Richmond, 828-507-5606
With the rising number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in the last few weeks, Haywood County has moved back into the orange zone, indicating significant community spread, well above the levels seen over the past two months.
This means it is more likely that at any given time you may come in contact with someone who is infected. A person can be contagious for 2-3 days before symptoms begin, so they may not even know. The current level of new cases is similar to the level that was seen as the pandemic was ramping up last summer and fall, leading to the dangerous surges in the winter.
The Delta variant now accounts for around 80% of new infections in the United States. It can be assumed that the situation is the same for our community. The available vaccines continue to be around 90% effective in preventing hospitalizations and death. Although less effective for preventing mild infections to the Delta variant, they continue to offer above 50% effectiveness at preventing these infections.
To protect yourself, be careful in high-risk situations; avoid crowds, especially indoors, especially if ventilation is not good, and especially where you cannot know who is infected or has not been vaccinated.
To prevent getting infected, avoid being a close contact with anyone you do not know. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes with someone infected and without wearing a face covering.
If you cannot be vaccinated, now is the time to be extra careful. If you have chosen not to be vaccinated, now is the time to reconsider for the sake of yourself, those you care about, and your community.
We have all enjoyed relaxing our protective public health measures over the past few weeks. Now is the time to reconsider those precautions in order to prevent a repeat of what we all experienced last winter.