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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 8, 2021
In the week since the last press release, Haywood County Public Health has received notice of 269 new cases of COVID-19. As of 5 p.m. on September 7, 2021, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has recorded a total of 5,912 cases in Haywood County since the pandemic began.
These numbers include the weekend and Labor Day Holiday.
According to the CDC, ALL of North Carolina is listed as an area of high community transmission. All surrounding states are also high-transmission areas. Mask-wearing indoors is now highly recommended in such areas. Masks are now required in Haywood County facilities, including the libraries, for employees and the public.
This week 95.6 percent of COVID cases were among those unvaccinated. Nearly all of those who require hospitalization are unvaccinated.
“As the pandemic surges, our test positivity rate is alarming, our medical professionals are weary, and the healthcare system is strained. If there were ever a time to consider vaccination, it is now. To get through this, we are all going to have to do our part. If you can be vaccinated, do so. If you choose not to be vaccinated, wear a mask, and maintain social distance. If you have symptoms of COVID, self-isolate, get tested, and notify your close contacts. Please do what you can to stop the spread of the virus,” said Haywood County Public Health Director Sarah Henderson.
The health department is receiving a multitude of calls about COVID "boosters. At this point, we have not received clear guidance from the state on when or how third doses will be administered. If all goes well, and the FDA and CDC give their approval, fully vaccinated individuals will be eligible for boosters eight months after their second shot. The expectation is that those who were fully vaccinated earliest in the vaccination program will be eligible for a booster first.
Health and Human Services are committed to keeping the community informed and will provide updates as it becomes available but we will not be administering boosters until we have clear guidance and approval.
Walk-in first and second-dose vaccinations are available at the health department and at grocery stores and pharmacies throughout the county.
Vaccination clinic hours are available Monday through Friday during normal business hours at the Haywood County Health Department. Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are available now, no appointment is necessary.
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.