The following COVID-19 information was collected by local and government agencies from November 16 to November 23.
Watauga County reached a total of 6,179 cases of COVID-19 on Nov. 23 — an increase of 59 cases from the previous week. The number of active cases fell by 36 active cases over the course of the week as of November 22.
AppHealthCare reported one death on Nov. 15 to bring the total to 40 deaths. AppHealthCare also reported one death on October 28 and one death on November 1.
The Triad HealthCare Preparedness Coalition region – which includes Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Caldwell, Catawba, Davie, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford, Iredell, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin – reports that 303 people in were hospitalized, with 86 of them in the ICU on November 22. At Watauga Medical Center, there are five COVID-19 patients and four of them have not been vaccinated on November 23.
AppHealthCare reported four active clusters in Watauga County as of the latest situation update on Nov. 19. In the COVID-19 Situation Report, AppHealthCare reported clusters on:
- Thunder Hill Residence Hall with 16 cumulative cases. The last positive result came on October 21, and as of the last report, there were zero active cases.
- The standard at Boone with 11 cumulative cases. The last positive result came on October 20, and as of the last report, there were zero active cases.
- Boone’s cottages with 16 cumulative cases. The last positive result came on November 5 and as of the last report, two cases were active.
- The Watauga County Detention Center with 8 cumulative cases. The last positive result came on October 23, and as of the last report, there were zero active cases.
The App State COVID-19 dashboard reports eight active COVID-19 cases among students and three among employees as of November 22. For the week ending Nov. 22, 1,024 COVID-19 tests were conducted with seven — or 0.7 percent — coming back positive. Since August 1, the university has conducted 22,775 COVID-19 tests on campus, of which 592 — or 2.6 percent — came back positive.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports that Watauga County administered 32,668 first dose of COVID-19 vaccines on Nov. 22. NCDHHS also reports that 29,173 people have completed the vaccine series in Watauga County — about 170 more than last week — as of Nov. 22.
According to NCDHHS, as of Nov. 22, 58 percent of the population in Watauga County has been at least partially vaccinated and 54 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated.
App State reports that 70 percent of students have been vaccinated and 82 percent of employees have been vaccinated as of Nov. 22.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone 18 years of age or older who has received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine receive a booster six months after their second dose to boost and protect against COVID-19. to expand. This comes after the Food and Drug Administration approved the boosters for such uses on Nov. 19.
The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster was made available in late October and is recommended for individuals 18 years of age and older who have been vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.
“I encourage all adults to use their COVID-19 booster for safer holiday gatherings with loved ones,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen. “With the recent approval of a COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, almost everyone in the family can now be vaccinated or boosted. Do not wait to vaccinate.”
In addition, fully vaccinated people who received their first COVID-19 vaccines outside the US or in clinical trials with a brand that is currently unlicensed can now receive a Pfizer booster shot when they qualify.
Those over 50 or at high risk should be getting a booster now, according to NCDHHS.
Recent studies indicate that while protection against serious illness and death remains strong for individuals who are fully vaccinated, people may be more likely to develop milder or asymptomatic COVID-19 over time.
Individuals can receive any brand of the COVID-19 vaccine for their booster injection. Some people may prefer the type of vaccine they were originally given, and others may prefer getting a different booster. Limited preliminary evidence suggests that booster dose of one of the two mRNA vaccines — Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech — raises antibody levels more effectively than a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“If you’re 50 or older, I urge you to get your booster as soon as you’re six months old so you’re well protected, especially as we head into winter and the holidays,” Cohen said.
Anyone who has received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of age, should receive a booster two months after the injection, according to the NCDHHS.
NCDHHS encourages individuals to speak with a doctor, nurse or pharmacist if they have questions about which booster is right for them.
Booster shots are available everywhere COVID-19 vaccines are available, and people don’t need a doctor’s note to get a booster shot. Individuals who wish to receive a booster need to know the dates and brand of their previous COVID-19 vaccine.
Paper vaccination cards are helpful, but may not be necessary. Anyone who has received their COVID-19 vaccine from a doctor’s office, independent (non-chain) pharmacy, health department, or community event can access their vaccine information on the NCDHHS Access Portal. Vaccination at home and free transportation may be available.
In addition to boosters for adults, the CDC recently recommended that children ages 5 to 11 receive a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to protect them from serious illness and complications from COVID-19.
“Parents should get their children vaccinated as a safe, tested way to keep them healthy and get them back safely with their family and friends,” Cohen said.
North Carolina’s actions are based on FDA approval and CDC recommendations.
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines in North Carolina or to find a vaccine location, visit: MySpot.nc.gov or call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Help Center toll-free at (888) 675-4567.