It is a bleak time on the COVID frontier, reports Dr. Mark Jaben, Haywood County medical director, in his weekly update.

COVID is raging more out of control than ever with no end in sight and western North Carolina counties have more cases than they did in January, with the high levels now on their fourth week, twice as long as the January previous high levels.

Patients are younger and sicker, he notes, with non-COVID patients getting delayed care since there are still between 20-30 hospitalized COVID patients at Haywood Regional.

Those in a group of 50 have a 75% chance of being exposed to someone with COVID, while a group of 100 has a 90% chance of having someone who is COVID-positive.

"With festival season upon us, we are likely poised to go even higher," he warns, urging those who are out and about to follow safety precautions.

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