FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 14, 2021
In the week since the last press release, Haywood County Public Health has received notice of 156 new cases of COVID-19, slightly less than last week’s spike in cases. As of 5 p.m. on December 13, 2021, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has recorded a total of 8,160 cases in Haywood County since the pandemic began.
Masks are very much encouraged whenever you plan to be indoors in public areas. Masks are required for employees and the public in ALL Haywood County government facilities including the courthouse, libraries, and public health buildings.
According to the CDC, nearly all of North Carolina is listed as an area of high community transmission. All surrounding states are also high-transmission areas.
This week 94.7 percent of new COVID cases were unvaccinated. Nearly all of those who require hospitalization are unvaccinated.
Vaccination appointments are available on a walk-in basis at the health department. Initial doses of Pfizer are available for ages 5-18. All three vaccines are available for anyone 18+. Vaccine clinic hours are Monday-Friday 8-11 a.m. and 1 - 4 p.m. If you prefer scheduling an appointment, please call 828-356-2019.
Adults are eligible for a booster when they are:
6 months past the initial doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or
2 months past the initial dose of Johnson & Johnson
Teens, ages 16-17 are eligible for a booster dose of Pfizer 6 months after completing their initial series of doses.
The latest COVID-19 variant, Omicron, has now been detected in North Carolina. We are not aware of any cases detected in Haywood County so far. In early studies, it appears to be highly transmissible, with somewhat milder symptoms than previous variants, but we don't yet know enough to be confident that this is how it will behave. Right now, Delta remains the cause of cases here. Haywood County Health and Human Services are following developments with this new variant closely and will continue to provide updates as we know more.
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.