FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 16, 2021
In the week since the last press release, Haywood County Public Health has received notice of 100 new cases of COVID-19. As of 5 p.m. on November 15, 2021, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has recorded a total of 7,660 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 89.9 percent of new COVID cases were unvaccinated. Nearly all of those who require hospitalization are unvaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccinations of children ages 5 - 11 begin last week. The health department vaccinated over 75 children in its special after-hours clinic on Wednesday, November 10. Over the weekend Haywood Pediatrics vaccinated over 150 at a clinic for its patients.
Initial dose walk-in appointments for anyone ages 5 and up are now available through the Health Department, Monday-Friday 8-11 a.m. and 1 - 4 p.m.
COVID-19 booster shot appointments are also 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
If you prefer scheduling an appointment, please call 828-356-2019.
“We have been very fortunate to see fewer positive cases over the last few weeks, but as we have experienced in the past when numbers decline, people become complacent with safety measures. People see improving case numbers as a time to relax instead of remaining vigilant about face-coverings and avoiding large groups. The time to be careful is before the infection. We are very mindful of the fact that our positive cases are slowly increasing again and that masking is also not as prioritized as it had once been. Now is not the time to let our guard down and become complacent. As we head into the holidays, I encourage all of you to do your part in keeping yourself and our community safe,” 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.