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The original item was published from 10/28/2022 8:28:00 AM to 1/1/2023 12:00:03 AM.

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COVID-19 Media Releases

Posted on: October 26, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Media Release COVID-19 - October 26, 2022

For Immediate Release


COVID-19 Information

Phone: 980-432-1800

Vaccine Information

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Rowan County COVID-19 Case Information:

Is Your Immune System Ready for the Months to Come?

As we prepare for the arrival of winter and colder temperatures, we will begin spending more time indoors and with more people. With that being the case and as face masks continue to be worn less frequently, if at all, we all need to continue to practice good hygiene and get vaccinated to avoid becoming sick from influenza(flu) and/or from COVID-19. 

Health experts are currently warning that flu cases could continue to rise and that the combination of the flu and COVID-19 together could pose a real public-health threat. Some of the major concerns that many doctors have is the fact that both the flu and COVID-19 could put people at a higher risk of becoming hospitalized and contracting other infections, most notably pneumonia. Getting infected with both viruses at the same time, or in quick succession, could also make people very vulnerable to additional health issues such as sepsis, direct injury to one’s heart, and/or inflammation of the brain, heart, or muscle tissues. The exact health dangers, however, are still very unclear since we have yet experienced both viruses at the same time and at this level of transmission.  

Both the flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses and can easily be spread between people who are in close contact and in poorly ventilated indoor spaces. This can easily take place through respiratory droplets or aerosols released through talking, sneezing, or coughing. These droplets can then land in the mouth or the nose of someone nearby or be inhaled. In addition to close contact, both viruses can also be spread if a person touches a contaminated surface and then touches their mouth, nose, and/or eyes.

COVID-19, however, does spread more easily than the flu and can cause more severe illness in some people. Also, people who are infected with COVID-19 may also take longer to show symptoms and may be contagious for longer periods of time. 

Both the flu and COVID-19 can have varying degrees of symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. Common symptoms of both viruses include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/having chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (more frequent in children with flu, but can occur in any age with COVID-19)
  • Change in or loss of taste or smell, although this is more frequent with COVID-19.

With symptoms being so similar, specific testing is needed to tell what the illness is and to confirm a diagnosis. By being tested, this will allow you to get diagnosed and treated more quickly. If done soon enough, you could minimize your symptoms and reduce your risk of getting sicker from the flu or from COVID-19. Tamiflu, which is given if you have the flu, needs to be prescribed within the first two days of becoming sick, whereas Paxlovid needs to be prescribed within the first five days of having symptoms from COVID-19.  As you can see, timing is everything to minimize your symptoms and how sick you could possibly become.

If you are interested in getting your flu shot, starting your COVID-19 vaccination series, and/or receiving your Moderna or Pfizer bivalent booster, please call Rowan County Public Health at 704-216-8863 to make an appointment. You may also call us at 980-432-1800 or email our COVID Team at to schedule a FREE pickup of at-home COVID-19 tests.  By having COVID-19 tests within your home, you will be one step closer in determining if you and/or a loved one does have COVID-19, and/or if you need to seek out the assistance of your primary provider for further tests.

In closing, please do your part to stop the spread of the flu, COVID-19, and even Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) by continuing to practice the following precautions:

  • Make sure you are up to date on all your vaccinations, including your annual flu shot and any COVID vaccines
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick or has symptoms.
  • Keep distance between yourself and others when you're in indoor public spaces.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Wear a face mask in indoor public spaces, especially if you're in an area with large crowds of people
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect on a daily-basis high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, electronics, toys. and countertops.

If you do become sick with the flu and/or with COVID-19, please stay at home and follow the recommended isolation guidelines for each illness.


PIO Contact:
Amy Smith

Download Media Release COVID-19 - October 26, 2022 (PDF)

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