In the week since the last press release, Haywood County Public Health has received notice of 92 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional COVID deaths.

This week 93.1%of new COVID cases were unvaccinated. Nearly all of those who require hospitalization are unvaccinated.

Of the two additional Haywood residents who lost their battle against COVID, one was in their 50s and the other in the 80s. One died at Mission Hospital; the other died at Haywood Regional Medical Center.

Haywood County has now lost 154 people to COVID and has recorded a total of 7,752 cases.

“As we move into the holiday season, we can be thankful for all the progress we have made in learning to manage COVID-19,” said Public Health Director Sarah Henderson. “With all this progress, we are coming closer to ending the pandemic, but we’re just not there yet. Now is not the time to let our guard down.”

Henderson urged the public to get vaccinated and boosted.

“Vaccinations are safe, effective, and widely available,” Henderson said. “Our children can now be vaccinated, which will go far toward helping to slow transmission rates. Boosters are now available for all adults, and effective treatments for those who contract COVID are becoming more available.

Vaccinations are available on a walk-in basis at the health department, as well as through pharmacies and doctor’s offices — offering first and second-dose vaccinations and boosters.

Most of North Carolina is listed as an area of high community transmission. Mask-wearing indoors is highly recommended.

COVID holiday tips

As families prepare to gathering for the holidays, many are being less cautious than they were this time a year ago, thanks in large part to many being vaccinated now.

Still, there are precautions to help stay safe when gathering. especially with older relatives. mixing with young children who may not be vaccinated yet. Watch Dr. Mark Jaben’s weekly video The to hear Jaben’s holiday gathering advice.

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