For Immediate Release
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Rowan County Enters a High COVID-19 Community Level Once Again
Consistent with the trends that are being seen throughout the country, BA.5 is now the most common COVID variant within our state. As of this morning, CDC has labeled 51 of North Carolina’s counties as high COVID-19 Community levels, including Rowan County. This variant is currently causing repeat infections, even in those individuals who have had recent past infections from other variants and/or who have already been vaccinated.
For many who have become sick most recently with COVID-19, particularly those who are fully vaccinated and boosted, symptoms resemble cold symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose, and fatigue. Back pain is a very peculiar, new symptom of COVID-19 that some people are now reporting; whereas the once very common loss of taste and/or smell is much less common.
Getting vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible, including a second booster if you are eligible, is still the most effective and preventative thing an individual can do. By doing this, you are greatly reducing your risk of hospitalization, any long-term effects from COVID, and even death. The following are things you can do right now to reduce your chances of getting BA.5 or possibly getting a more severe case of the virus:
- Make sure you get vaccinated and/or boosted if you have not already, plus make sure you get your second booster if you’re eligible.
- Have a supply of at-home tests on hand to help stop the spread of COVID by testing more often, especially if you have been around a positive person or if you start feeling bad. If you should test positive and/or start feeling sick, please stay at home.
- Contact us at 980-432-1800 or at Covidemail@example.com to receive FREE at-home tests. In addition to this, your health insurance company may also cover up to eight free at-home tests per person per month. Check with your local pharmacy for more details.
- Begin wearing your mask again, especially out in public. Also practice physical distancing and good hand hygiene. These things are especially important if you are at high risk for serious COVID-19 complications.
- Increase the ventilation of indoor spaces by opening windows and doors.
If you do test positive for COVID-19, antiviral pills like Paxlovid and Molnupiravir are available and should be taken within the first five days in which symptoms appear. Please note that these treatments must be prescribed by a medical professional. For more information on treatment, please visit the NCDHHS website.
Here locally, we have definitely seen an increase in the amount of positive COVID-19 virus being detected in our local wastewater samplings. This state monitoring system, of which we have two in Rowan County, can look for the SARs-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. With more access to home testing kits and less people reporting positive cases to Rowan County Public Health, this monitoring system give us a better understanding of how our COVID cases are going and if there is a need for us to become more proactive, especially for those individuals that are immunocompromised.
In closing, Rowan County Public Health highly suggest that we all do what we can to stop the spread of BA.5, especially as we finish up vacations and as families prepare for the return of school in the next few weeks. If you or a loved one still needs to be vaccinated against COVID-19, please call 704-216-8777 and choose option 3 to make an appointment. Vaccines for all ages are available.
Download Media Release COVID-19 - July 22, 2022 (PDF)