By MIKE CONLEY
COVID-19 is still a concern in McDowell County and health officials will continue to monitor the numbers here.
But the good news is, McDowell’s COVID status is not as high as those in neighboring counties.
In late March, public health officials stopped sending out regular news releases about the numbers of COVID-19 cases in McDowell County. And many people have gone back to life as it was before the pandemic happened.
But that doesn’t mean the virus has totally gone away.
McDowell County has seen a slight increase in positive coronavirus cases since the end of April 2022. Between Saturday, May 21 and Saturday, June 4, there were 277 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death in McDowell.
A total of 14,185 people in McDowell have been infected with COVID since the pandemic started more than two years ago. And the total number of deaths in McDowell due to the coronavirus is 177 since the pandemic began, according to information from Karen Powell, director of the Foothills Health District.
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There is currently just one nursing home, Autumn Care, with an outbreak status.
As of Saturday, June 4, the 14-day positivity rate for McDowell was 11.7%. Under the Centers for Disease Control’s standards, McDowell’s COVID-19 Community Level continues to remain in the “low” status.
“Some of our neighboring counties, such as Buncombe and Burke, have risen to ‘medium’ status in recent weeks,” said Powell to The McDowell News. “This tells us that McDowell County residents are continuing to do their part to prevent the resurgence of COVID-19 in our community. Vaccines and boosters are still key to keeping these numbers low and preventing serious illness or death from COVID-19.”
“COVID is always a concern and we continue to monitor the numbers,” Powell added. “Our emphasis remains on vaccinations and the health department currently has vaccines and boosters available.”
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