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WNC COVID-19 Updates: Week Of April 19

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Matt Bush
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Blue Ridge Public Radio

Do you have a question about the COVID vaccine?  We want to hear from you!  Record your question as a voice memo on your cell phone and email us at voices@bpr.org or use the "talk to us" feature on the free BPR mobile app

Looking for information about where to get vaccinated near you?  North Carolina Health News has a comprehensive listing of county vaccines sites, which will be updated often. Find it here.

Need a ride?  NCDOT and NCDHHS have distributed funding to help pay for transportation. Check with your local transit agency for more details.  You can find your agency online  NC_public_transit.pdfOpen PDF(4/23 2 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 956,932 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with a slight decrease from reported cases on the previous day. 1,145 are currently hospitalized statewide, a decrease of 4 from April 21st.   12,523 have died of COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 18 from April 21st.  In the 13 North Carolina Counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 49,598, confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 845 deaths. That's an increase of 135 confirmed cases and 1 death from April 21st.

 

(4/22 4p.m.) Five people who are incarcerated at Haywood County Detention Center have tested positive for COVID-19.

The cluster is in the same “pod” of individuals at the detention center. The whole pod has been tested and are quarantining.  

One of the COVID-positive persons has since bonded out but has agreed to quarantine at home, following Haywood County Health and Human Services guidance.

“The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office has been working closely with HHS from the onset of the initial positive case. They are following CDC guidelines for quarantining of positive cases and isolation of close contacts. They are monitoring inmates and staff closely for symptoms and testing appropriately. They have implemented thorough cleaning procedures above and beyond the normal daily routine and continue to enforce masks and social distancing,” said Sarah Henderson, public health director in a press release. 

Haywood County Emergency Services says that on several occasions it has provided vaccinations to all incarcerated persons "who wished to be vaccinated" and will continue to do so "as needed."

(4/21 3 p.m.)  The U.S. Forest Service has announced that hiking shelters along the Appalachian Trail in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia are now available for use. Earlier in the pandemic these shelters were shut down to discourage groups from camping together due to COVID-19. Hikers are still encouraged to bring their own personal tents and face coverings.  It’s currently AT hiking season in Western North Carolina as hikers seasonally follow the over 2,100 mile trail from Georgia to Maine.

(4/21 1:30 p.m.)  North Carolina has reported 954,765 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 1,963 cases from the day before.  1,149 are currently hospitalized statewide, a decrease of 19 from the day before.  12,505 have died of COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 25 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina Counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 49,463 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 844 deaths. That's an increase of 117 confirmed cases and 1 death from the day before.

(4/20 1:30 p.m.)  North Carolina has reported 952,529 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 1,963 cases from the day before.  1,168 are currently hospitalized statewide, a decrease of 2 from the day before.  12,480 have died of COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 43 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina Counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 49,346 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 843 deaths. That's an increase of 98 confirmed cases and 1 death from the day before.

(4/21 12:00 p.m.)  Pardee UNC Health Care says it will begin to transition next month to offering COVID-19 vaccinations at its urgent care clinics instead of operating a mass clinic site at Blue Ridge Community College.  The health system says the last day the clinic at the college will offer first doses is May 6.  After that, shots will be administered at its urgent care clinics or through employers.  Dr. David Ellis, Pardee’s chief medical officer, said in a statement the changes are due to an increase in supply of the vaccines, coupled with a decreased demand for them after so many have received their shots.  To schedule an appointment through Pardee, click here.  

(4/20 1:30 p.m.) When the three vaccines were approved by the FDA under emergency-use authorization, only the Pfizer was approved for ages 16 – 17 years old.  That’s why Macon County Public Health is hosting a clinic specifically for those ages to get vaccinated with the Pfizer shot on Friday.  Emily Ritter, public information officer for the health department explained:

“Because of the CDC guidelines for people once they are fully vaccinated. It allows for those who have been fully vaccinated to remain in contact with other people even if they have been exposed to COVID-19. We want students to be prepared to go back to school and get back on track with their studies,” said Ritter.

You can register for the clinic by calling the Macon County’s Call Center at 828-524-1500. Please make your appointment no later than 5pm on April 21st . Macon County is requiring a legal guardian to go to the vaccination appointment with the child.

(4/20 12:30 p.m.)  North Carolina has reported 950,566 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 1,200 cases from the day before.  1,170 are currently hospitalized statewide, an increase of 74 from the day before.  12,437 have died of COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 19 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina Counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 49,248 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 842 deaths. That's an increase of 43 confirmed cases and 1 death from the day before.

(4/19 12:30 p.m.)  North Carolina has reported 949,366 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 5,673 cases from Friday.  1,096 are currently hospitalized statewide, an increase of 32 from Friday.  12,418 have died of COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 31 from Friday.  In the 13 North Carolina Counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 49,205 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 841 deaths. That's an increase of 335 confirmed cases and 3 deaths from Friday.