Cases of COVID and hospitalizations continued to significantly increase in the last week, with the more infectious Delta variant now constituting about 80 % of the cases. There was a nearly 66% increase in cases since last week and a doubling of hospitalizations in the last two weeks. The state’s positivity rate of COVID tests performed has inched up to 8.3%. Vaccination rates stayed stubbornly stable with 46% of the NC’s total population and 47% of Guilford County’s total population now fully vaccinated according to the NC health department dashboard. Vaccination continues to be the best way to protect against severe COVID infection and has been proven far safer than infection with the coronavirus. Infection does infrequently happen in vaccinated people. In light of the recent surge of cases, we strongly recommend that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, mask when indoors in public places.

Vaccine options remain much the same as in the last few months. Many doctor’s offices are starting to offer vaccines in their offices, but the Cone and Guilford County web sites continue to offer information and appointments. There is now an option for at-home vaccination. Caregivers, providers, and individuals can schedule an at-home vaccination; at 866-303-0026 or at . The deadline for enrolling in an Affordable Care Health (Obama Care) plan has now been extended to August 15. Some additional subsidies have been added to make the plans even more affordable. The site to investigate insurance from this source is

At New Garden: We will continue to hold semi-programmed meetings for worship on Sundays at 10 a.m. in person outdoors and simultaneously by Zoom and Facebook Live. This remains the safest way for a large group of people, vaccinated and unvaccinated, to be together. If bad weather threatens, semi-programmed meeting for worship will take place only virtually. (Check the website or Facebook page for weather-related changes.) We will continue to hold unprogrammed meetings for worship in person outdoors on Sundays from 9 – 9:45 a.m.; these meetings are typically quite small and can move to the meeting room in the event of inclement weather.

We ask that all New Gardeners and guests, regardless of vaccination status, continue to wear masks and practice social distancing while in our meeting house. Please see the attached document for guidance about use of our meeting spaces for small group activities.

Thank you for your care and patience.

NGFM COVID Medical Advisors