BCHHS Public Health Provider Update: COVID and Influenza update

November 17, 2021

Local COVID-19 Update

  •          As of 11/16/2021, there have been 29,064 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 431 COVID-19-related deaths in Buncombe County residents since the start of the pandemic.
  •          Unfortunately, the case rate in Buncombe County has increased slightly to 116 cases per 100,000 population in the last 7 days. The 14-day percent positivity also has risen slightly to 4.8%.
    •    This is concerning as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday. The CDC and NCDHHS have published guidance on how to more safely celebrate the holidays. Please share this guidance with your patients, staff, friends and family.
    •    The greatest proportion in cases continues to be in 25-49 year-olds, and the case rate in those age 0-17 years remains stable at 21%.
  •          Buncombe County is still considered to have a high level of community transmission, per the CDC.
  •          COVID-related hospitalizations and ICU utilization in our region remain relatively low.
  •          Per the NCDHHS dashboard, 65% of the total Buncombe County population is partially vaccinated and 61% is fully vaccinated. When considering only those 12 years of age and older, 74% of this population in Buncombe County is partially vaccinated and 70% is fully vaccinated.
    •    While eligible for COVID vaccination for <2 weeks, 16.3% of our county’s 5-11 year-old population has already received their 1st dose! Thanks to all the providers administering vaccine to this age group.
  •          The NCDHHS weekly Respiratory Disease Surveillance Report contains a wide variety of data on COVID-19, including post-vaccination surveillance data, attack rates and mortality rates by vaccination status (starting on page 11).
    •    For the week ending October 30, 2021, unvaccinated individuals in NC remain more than 5 times more likely to get COVID-19 and were 22.29 times more likely to die of COVID-19 when compared to vaccinated individuals.


CDC Clinician Call on Antibiotic Prescribing and COVID-19


Updates on Buncombe County COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

  •          Walk-in COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic
    •    BCHHS building, 40 Coxe Avenue in downtown Asheville
    •    All FDA-authorized or FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines and all doses are available here.
    •    As of this week, the clinic is open Tuesday-Friday from 9am-4pm.
      •   The Buncombe County COVID Vaccine Clinic, like other non-emergency county services, will be closed Thursday, 11/25 and Friday, 11/26.
    •    No appointment needed.
  •          School-based Saturday COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics
    •    We had a very successful clinic this past Saturday at Asheville Middle School, where we administered 393 total doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including 246 doses to 5-11 year-olds.
    •    We are at North Buncombe High School this coming Saturday from 9am-4pm.
    •    For more information on upcoming school-based Saturday clinics across the county in November & December and other local vaccine clinics, please click here.
  •          COVID-19 vaccines for the homebound
    •    We continue to work with the Mission Health Partner CaraMedics to administer COVID-19 vaccine to those living in Buncombe County who cannot easily leave their homes to access vaccination.
    •    If you know someone in need of this service, have them or their caregiver call the Buncombe County Ready Team at 828-419-0095.


Influenza Update


If you have any concerns or questions about COVID-19 or any other communicable disease, please contact the Buncombe County Communicable Disease staff at 828-250-5109 (available 24/7).