Alexander County Government released a COVID-19 update on Monday, August 23:
Alexander County has a cumulative total of 5,040 cases of COVID-19, with 312 cases in the last 14 days and 171 cases in the last seven days. Sadly, there have now been 92 deaths associated with the virus, with nine people currently in the hospital. Approximately 38 percent of local residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 36 percent are fully vaccinated, which means 2 percent are partially vaccinated and 62 percent are unvaccinated. Alexander County has a 16.2 percent positive test rate, with a rate of 13.1 percent in North Carolina. There are two outbreaks in Alexander County at a residential care facility and at a farm.
According to local data, there have been 54 break-through cases among those who are fully vaccinated since June 1 with an estimated break-through rate of 0.39 percent (less than half of one percent). Statistics also show that only three people who previously had COVID-19 became infected with the virus a second time. All 100 counties in North Carolina are in the CDC’s “red” category for a high level of community transmission of the virus. CDC guidance recommends that everyone wear a mask in all indoor public spaces if you live in areas of high or substantial levels of transmission.
Local health officials urge COVID patients to answer their phones as contact tracers may be trying to reach them.
The health department and local pharmacies have ample supplies of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, so unvaccinated residents are highly encouraged to get vaccinated to avoid contracting the highly-contagious Delta variant. Nearly all of the cases of severe disease, hospitalization, and death continue to occur among those not yet vaccinated.
On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved the Pfizer vaccine. The vaccine was granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in December 2020, and is now the only vaccine to be upgraded from EUA to full approval so far.
Immune-compromised individuals may now receive their third dose, but are asked to contact their doctor to determine the correct course of treatment.
To schedule a vaccination, call the Alexander County Health Department at (828) 632-9704 or visit www.alexandercountync.gov/covid.
It’s also important that anyone who has symptoms or thinks they have been exposed to the virus to get tested. You can schedule a COVID-19 test at the health department by calling (828) 632-9704.
The county encourages everyone to continue practicing the 3 W’s – wait six feet apart, wear a face covering, and wash your hands – but these safety measures are even more important for those who are unvaccinated.