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COVID surge continues in Haywood County

As of Tuesday, Jan. 19, Haywood County Public Health received notice of 130 new cases of COVID-19 within the last four days.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has recorded a total of 2,906 cases in Haywood County since the pandemic began. There are 461 people isolating with COVID-19. The health department is monitoring these cases.

The health department is continuing to track the trend of people who refuse or ignore case monitoring or contact efforts. There are 48 such uncooperative positive cases now that may be ignoring the advice to isolate from others. Since the health department started tracking this number there have been 135 such cases considered released, meaning all attempts to communicate with them have been exhausted and the isolation period based on positive result date has passed.

“It’s been almost a year now that we’ve been coping with this pandemic and it’s natural to feel frustrated and tired as it continues this long, but we want to urge patience at this time as vaccines begin to roll out. Many people are enthusiastic about the prospect of getting vaccinated and we want to encourage that enthusiasm while reminding people even at maximum capacity, it will take some time for vaccines to be available to everyone. Please be patient and wait for your group’s turn, everyone will have their chance soon, ” said Interim Health Director Garron Bradish.

Vaccination is now well underway for people over the age of 75 in the 1B category. Although the county has not been allotted enough doses to cover this entire group at once, appointments are being scheduled in large groups, dependent upon vaccine availability. If you or a loved one over the age of 65 need to register, do so at www.haywoodcountync.gov/vaccine or by calling 828.356.2019. 

“If you have tested positive and you have friends or family that meet the close contact criteria, encourage them to self-quarantine and get tested 5-6 days after their exposure to you. Our end goal is to reduce community spread, so one day we can all be together again,” said Bradish. “Since we have placed a hold on monitoring close contacts, we can’t currently provide quarantine documentation for employers. Businesses need to be mindful that having quarantined employees return to work too quickly could cause a cluster of cases in the workplace. We ask that employers rely on the honor system and encourage employees who have been exposed to quarantine for the recommended time frame of 14 days from the date of exposure to help us reduce the spread during this surge of cases.”

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