The following COVID-19 information was collected by local and government agencies from November 2 to November 9.
Watauga County reached a total of 6,076 cases of COVID-19 as of Nov. 2 — an increase of 69 cases from the previous week. The number of active cases increased over the week with 63 active cases as of November 2.
AppHealthCare reported no new deaths between Nov. 2 and Nov. 9. AppHealthCare reported one death on Oct. 28 and one death on Nov. 1 to bring the total number of deaths from COVID-19 among Watauga County residents to 39.
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 253 people in hospitalized, with 76 of those in the ICU as of Nov. 8.
AppHealthCare reported four active clusters in Watauga County as of the latest situation update on Nov. 5. 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, one case was active.
- Boone’s cottages with 15 cumulative cases. The last positive result came on November 3, and as of the last report, one case was 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 nine active COVID-19 cases among students and three among employees as of November 8. For the week ending Nov. 8, 1,346 COVID-19 tests were conducted with 7 — or 0.5 percent — coming back positive. Since August 1, the university has conducted 20,447 COVID-19 tests on campus, of which 577 — or 2.8 percent — came back positive.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports that Watauga County administered 31,935 first dose of COVID-19 vaccines on Nov. 8. NCDHHS also reports that 29,886 people have completed the vaccine series in Watauga County — about 35 more than last week — as of Nov. 8
According to NCDHHS, as of Nov. 8, 57 percent of the population in Watauga County has been at least partially vaccinated and 53 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated.
App State reports that 69 percent of students have been vaccinated and 80 percent of employees have been vaccinated as of Nov. 8.
Children aged 5 to 11 can now receive a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a lower dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children in this age group, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all children ages 5-11 receive the vaccine to protect them from serious diseases and help keep them healthy.
“Children are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus just like everyone else,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen. “The approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provides a safe, tested way to protect them from serious illness and to deliver healthier, happier experiences inside and outside the classroom.”
During the most recent surge, pediatric cases of COVID-19 in the United States have increased by about 240 percent, demonstrating the need to protect children from the disease. Results from clinical trials that began in March 2021 showed that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was safe and effective in protecting children ages 5-11 against COVID-19.
No safety concerns or serious side effects were noted in the clinical studies. Temporary side effects for children ages 5-11 are similar to older children and adults and can be a sore arm, headache, and tired or sore for a day or so.
More than 3,000 children ages 5-11 participated in the trials with volunteers of different races and ethnicities (77 percent White, 6 percent African American/Black, 8 percent Asian, 17 percent Hispanic/Latin, and 7 percent multiracial). This compares to the number recorded in many similar clinical trials involving children.
Children receive two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Each dose is one third of the amount given to people 12 years and older. The dose for 5-11 year olds is different from the dose allowed for people 12 years and older, and children in this age group should not receive the dose 12 years and older.
The vaccine is effective and elicited a similar immune response in children aged 5-11 years as in older children and adults aged 16-25 years. As with other routine childhood vaccinations, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine went through a rigorous testing and review process by the FDA and an independent scientific committee to ensure it is safe and effective for children.
The Pfizer-BioNTech lower dose COVID-19 vaccine is currently the only one available for children ages 5-11. Parents and guardians with questions about COVID-19 vaccines should contact their child’s doctor.
“By vaccinating school-age children, they can safely play sports, attend events, be with friends, and do all the other things kids love to do and may be missing right now,” Cohen said. “This weekend I will have my daughters vaccinated. Don’t wait to vaccinate your children so they can be safe with family and friends again, especially as we enter the holiday season.”
Anyone 5 years and older can receive a free Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, even if they do not have health insurance and regardless of their immigration status.
North Carolina’s actions are based on CDC recommendations. Read the full statement from the CDC here.
To learn more about how childhood vaccines work and where to find a vaccination appointment near you, visit MySpot.nc.gov. The North Carolina Vaccine Help Center at (888) 675-4567 can also help you schedule an appointment. It is open from 7am to 7pm on weekdays and 8am to 4pm on weekends.