For Immediate Release
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Rowan County COVID-19 Case Information: https://bit.ly/rowan-covid19-hub
Rowan County’s COVID-19 Level Continues to Rise
Rowan County’s COVID cases continue to rise as we enter into a second week where a majority of our state remains at high transmission. As Rowan’s numbers climb, we are now seeing an increase in the number of cases among those 25-49 years of age, as well as those 65 and older.
According to the CDC, the majority of North Carolina’s COVID-19 cases now consist of B.Q.1.1 (44%); BQ.1 (20%), and XBB.1.5 (17%). All three of these strains are a subvariant of Omicron and are considered more evasive and more transmissive. With this being the case and with the symptoms of these strains being milder and sometimes misinterpreted for something less severe, we all need to make sure to take extra precautions.
The most common symptoms that are now being reported, are as follows:
- sore throat
- runny nose
- blocked(stuffy) nose
- a cough with or without phlegm
- a hoarse voice
- muscle aches and pains
- an altered sense of smell
Rowan County Public Health highly encourages you to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible! By doing this, you are greatly reducing your risk of hospitalization, any long-term effects from COVID, and even death. Anyone 6 months and older can now get vaccinated against this virus. In addition, anyone over 5 years of age and older can now receive a booster against COVID-19.
If you are interested in starting your COVID-19 vaccination series, and/or receiving your bivalent booster, please call Rowan County Public Health at 980-432-1800 to make an appointment. Vaccines are available for all ages and include Moderna, Pfizer, J&J, or the Novavax vaccine.
In addition to getting vaccinated, the following things can also reduce your chances of getting sick and/or passing COVID-19 to others:
- 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. You can arrange to pick up FREE at-home tests by emailing Rowan County Public Health or by calling us at 980-432-1800. **If you have been exposed to COVID, our staff asks that you please let us know about your exposure, remain in your car, and someone will bring your at-home tests out to you.
- Wear a face mask whenever you go out in public, especially if you have underlying health conditions, you are immunocompromised, and/or if you are around someone who is.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick or has symptoms.
- Keep your distance between yourself and others.
- Eliminate large gatherings indoors. As an alternative, you should open windows and doors and/or meet outside when the weather permits you to do so.
- 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.
- 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. This includes doorknobs, light switches, electronics, phones, computers, remotes, toys. and countertops.
- If you are sick and need medical help, please make an appointment with your primary care physician or visit Urgent Care, instead of going directly to the Emergency Room. We ask that you please avoid going to the hospital, unless it is a life-threatening situation.
If you do test positive for COVID-19, antiviral treatments 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 those individuals without insurance and/or a medical provider, NCDHHS has recently partnered with StarMed to launch a time-limited telemedicine program. If a patient is found eligible through this service for oral antiviral treatment, StarMed can send a prescription to the patient’s chosen pharmacy or through a mail-order pharmacy. To set up an appointment visit https://starmed.care/nc or call 704-941-6000, seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In closing, if you do become sick with COVID-19, the flu and/or RSV, we ask that you please stay at home and follow the recommended isolation guidelines for each illness. By doing this, you are not only protecting yourself from possibly getting sicker, but you are also protecting those you may come in contact with at work, school, and/or out in the community.
Download Media Release COVID-19 - January 13, 2023 (PDF)