Cases of COVID, hospitalizations and percent positive COVID tests in NC have stayed stable at low levels this week. Vaccination numbers did not change this week with North Carolina having 42% of the total population and 79% of persons age 65 years and older now fully vaccinated. Vaccination continues for 12-15 year olds and counting full vaccination for those 12 years of age and above the rate is up to 49%.These figures are drawn from the NC Health Dept. COVID Dashboard. North Carolina drew its first couple of vaccine lottery winners this week but dropped to ranking 37th in the nation with respect to vaccination rate.
CDC guidelines for appropriate behavior to minimize transmission of COVID infections can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html. Please see the chart attached to the newsletter about activities deemed safe by the CDC for vaccinated and unvaccinated persons. Unvaccinated persons should still plan to wear masks at most gatherings per this advice. Friends are encouraged to read these guidelines to help them decide what activities are appropriate for each family group. Those persons with potentially immuno-compromising conditions , including advanced age, diabetes and autoimmune disorders, should check with their health care advisors regarding their individual risks.
Friends are advised that there continue to be circulating cases of COVID (cough, fever, shortness of breath) and symptomatic persons still need to be tested and treated regardless of vaccination status. It is now estimated that the more contagious Delta variant of COVID will be the predominant strain circulating in the US in the next couple of weeks. A large increase in cases of COVID has been noted in Missouri this week which has a vaccination rate similar to North Carolina.
Vaccine information remains much the same as in previous issues of the newsletter. Many doctor’s offices are starting to do vaccines in their offices but the Cone Health and Guilford County web sites continue to offer information and appointments if vaccines are still needed.
The deadline for enrolling in an Affordable Care Health(Obama Care) plan has now been extended to August 15th. Some additional subsidies have been added to make the plans even more affordable. The site to investigate insurance from this source is healthcare.gov.