COVID-19 cases are spiking in Alexander County !
According to Leeanne Whisnant, Consolidated Human Services Director, the number of new cases has been very low for the past several months, but has started increasing in recent weeks, with a spike to 38 cases this past week including 28 in the past 72 hours.
As of Tuesday, July 20th, five county residents were hospitalized with COVID-19 associated symptoms. Whisnant expressed her growing concern about the increasing cases, and encourages citizens to get vaccinated if they have not already done so. Only 34 percent of Alexander County citizens are fully vaccinated, which is well below the state and national average. The Alexander County Health Department has a good supply of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Vaccinations have slowed tremendously, so if you want to get vaccinated, call (828) 632-9704 or (828) 352-7724 or visit www.alexandercountync.gov/covid to schedule your appointment. You’ll likely be scheduled for the very next day.
During a news briefing on Wednesday, July 21, Governor Cooper expressed the need for more North Carolinians to get vaccinated. Approximately 80 percent of new COVID-19 cases in North Carolina are the Delta variant, which is highly contagious. Although the statewide mask mandate ends this month, he said if the pandemic continues and worsens, restrictions could be reinstated to help minimize the spread of the virus.
The Governor also announced guidance for public school systems for the coming school year. The NC Department of Health and Human Services strongly advises that school leaders adopt the mask guidelines outlined in the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit; however, Governor Cooper says it will be up to local school boards to actually enforce the state guidance. The state highly encourages school boards to require masks in grades K-8 for both students and staff. For high school, only unvaccinated students and staff would be required to wear a mask. At this point, no decision has been announced by Alexander County Schools.
While we understand there is some skepticism about the vaccine, it has been widely proven to be the most effective tool to prevent illness from COVID-19.
The county encourages everyone to continue practicing the 3 W’s – wait six feet apart, wear a face covering, and wash your hands – but these safety measures are even more important for those who are unvaccinated.