WNC COVID-19 Updates: Week Of Jan. 4

Jan 4, 2021

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

(1/10 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 623,188 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 8,833 from the day before.  3,774 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 97 from the day before.  7,567 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 142 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 31,673 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 485 deaths, an increase of 564 cases and 12 deaths from the day before.  

(1/9 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 614,355 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 11,581 from the day before (a new daily record increase).  3,871 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 89 from the day before.  7,425 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 97 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 31,111 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 473 deaths, an increase of 651 cases and 15 deaths from the day before.  " class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

 (1/8 5 p.m.) Buncombe County vaccine appointments are full and officials say the registration portal will be closed. Additional appointments will be announced next week.

When that happens, residents who are 75 and older can call the health department to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, as the county rolls out phase 1B-1 of the state’s vaccine distribution plan.  The registration portal can be found  at www.buncombeready.org and appointments can be made by calling 828-250-5000.  Only people 75 and older will be accepted at this time.   Haywood county is also offering pre-registration for residents over the age of 75 both online at: https://www.haywoodcountync.gov/vaccine by phone via the COVID-19 hotline at: 828-356-2019.

(1/8 3 p.m.) Mission Hospital says the number of COVID patients at the hospital has more than tripled since the beginning of November. Because of these numbers, Mission has expanded space for COVID-19 patients at the hospital. During that expansion, 3 patients had to be transferred to another facility. The hospital says it still has the capacity to care for patients.   

As of 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 8 there are 144 lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 patients in Mission Health system; 111 at Mission Hospital; 8 at Angel Medical Center; 4 at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital; 2 at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital; 10 at Mission Hospital McDowell; 9 at Transylvania Regional Hospital.

(1/8 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 602,774 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 10,028 from the day before.  3,960 people are currently hospitalized (a new high), an increase of 0 from the day before.  7,328 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 115 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 30,460 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 458 deaths, an increase of 691 cases and 5 deaths from the day before.  

(1/7 6 p.m.) Buncombe County residents who are 75 and older can call the health department to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, as the county rolls out phase 1B-1 of the state’s vaccine distribution plan.  A phone outage disrupted Thursday’s registration process but officials hope to have the phone line back on Friday. Appointments can be made by calling 828-250-5000.  Only people 75 and older will be accepted at this time.  If you are not in this age group, please refer the BCHHS COVID-19 website for information regarding the future phases.   Haywood county is also offering pre-registration for residents over the age of 75 both Online at: https://www.haywoodcountync.gov/vaccine by phone via the COVID-19 hotline at: 828-356-2019.

(1/7 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 592,746 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 10,398 from the day before (a new daily record).  3,960 people are currently hospitalized (a new high), an increase of 67 from the day before.  7,213 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 137 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 29,769 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 453 deaths, an increase of 503 cases and 11 deaths from the day before.  

(1/7 9:30 a.m.) Buncombe County is experiencing a phone outage this morning, the first day that residents 75 and older could sign up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  For Thursday only, residents are asked to call 828-419-0095 to register.  

(1/6 6 p.m.) Beginning Thursday(1/7),  Buncombe County residents who are 75 and older can call the health department to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, as the county rolls out phase 1B-1 of the state’s vaccine distribution plan.  Emergency preparedness director Fletcher Tove says vaccine supplies are extremely limited right now and he urges the public to be patient.   “We have potentially, (with phase 1B-1)  tens of thousands of people and less than a thousand appointments a week to give them, we want the public to understand the constraints we have and to understand we’re doing the best we can."                     Appointments can be made by calling 828-250-5000.  Only people 75 and older will be accepted at this time.    If you are not in this age group, please refer the BCHHS COVID-19 website for information regarding the future phases.  

(1/6 2 p.m.) Gov. Roy Cooper is extending his modified Stay-at-Home order including the nightly 10 p.m. curfew for another three weeks as hospitals across North Carolina continue to fill up with a surge in coronavirus cases.  "We have seen some of our highest case counts, percent positives, hospitalizations and ICU bed usage numbers in the past few days. No matter where you live, work, worship or play, COVID-19 remains a deadly threat -  and we must treat it that way," said Cooper during Wednesday’s coronavirus task force briefing.  Eighty-four counties are now in the red zone with "critical spread" of COVID-19 – including all the counties in the BPR listening area. Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen also issued a directive, urging North Carolinians to stay at home whenever possible.

(1/6 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 582,348 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 6,952 from the day before.  3,893 people are currently hospitalized (a new high), an increase of 112 from the day before.  7,076 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 80 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 29,266 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 442 deaths, an increase of 467 cases and 1 death from the day before.  Buncombe County became the first county in the BPR listening area to cross 10-thousand confirmed cases on Wednesday.

(1/5 4 p.m.) North Carolina’s seven westernmost counties have begun distributing the COVID-19 vaccine.  Most are currently in phase 1a - which includes healthcare workers and long-term care residents.  Now some county health departments are ramping up for next group, which includes those age 75 and over. In Haywood County, the health department will start pre-registering those seniors tomorrow. 

(1/5 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 575,396 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 5,285 from the day before.  3,781 people are currently hospitalized (a new high), an increase of 146 from the day before.  6,996 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 55 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 28,799 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 441 deaths, an increase of 422 cases and 3 deaths from the day before.

(1/4 2:15 p.m.)  Henderson County public schools will be all virtual when students return from their winter break later this week.  The Henderson County Board of Public Education voted Monday to keep all classes virtual until the end of January, with hopes of returning to a hybrid model of in-person and remote instruction on February 1st.

(1/4 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 570,111 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 5,187 from the day before.  3,635 people are currently hospitalized (a new high), an increase of 59 from the day before.  6,941 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 31 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 28,477 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 438 deaths, an increase of 299 cases and 2 deaths from the day before.