JACKSONVILLE, NC (WNCT) – With the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reminding people that coronavirus is still a problem throughout the state.
Health authorities want to ensure that people are as safe as possible, especially with summer travel almost here. Dr. Susan Kansagra, the deputy state health officer for North Carolina, wants people to remember the tools available to help keep you and your loved ones safe from COVID-19 while traveling this summer.
Kansagra said a majority of recent COVID-19 cases have been the Omicron BA-2 strain.
“From one or two weeks ago, we were about 85%,” Kansagra said. “I suppose right now that we’re almost overwhelmingly all BA-2, that’s probably what we’re seeing in North Carolina at this point.”
It’s a problem that Kansagra said is bigger than some might think.
“BA-2 is more transmissible than the last strain, which means it spreads more easily,” Kansagra said.
But with available resources, people can help protect themselves from the disease.
“We are still seeing protective effects, especially against serious illness and hospitalization with the tools we have right now,” Kansagra said. “Vaccines and boosters, and some of the immunity we’ve built up over the last several waves, so you know that’s good news there.”
Victoria Reyes, community relations officer for the Onslow County Health Department, added that there are resources to ensure you follow the COVID guidelines while traveling.
“The CDC has on their COVID data tracker you can somehow locate county level and see what the county might be experiencing,” Reyes said. “You may need to travel here soon. You can look at county-specific and see what their precautions are or restrictions are, and you can somehow tailor your trip.”
The Onslow County Health Department added that people should listen to their body if they feel sick before going on vacation.