Buncombe County COVID-19 Newsletter 2.1-2.5

February 9, 2021

Here is an overview of the most recent Buncombe County COVID-19 updates and resources. We have also included links that you can share on your social media to help spread the word about these important updates.

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Upcoming Events:

  • Let’s Talk COVID-19: The Vaccine Part II – Wednesday, Feb. 10 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
    The YWCA of Asheville and WNC and Buncombe County Health and Human Services presents Let’s Talk COVID-19: The Vaccine, Part II. Part I of this two-part event focused on the historical and lived experiences of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) seeking medical care in the United States. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Updates:

Those who got their first vaccine on or after Jan. 20 will receive a card with the date of their next vaccination at the time of their first vaccination. Please bring your vaccination card and insurance card to the site when you arrive for your second vaccine. Moving forward, notifications will go out via email, robo call, and text to those who are due for their second dose in the coming week. Notifications will also be sent to those who have not received their second dose and are still needing a second dose.

The second vaccination site is located at A.C. Reynolds. Only those who have received their first vaccine at a Buncombe County Vaccination Clinic should come to the second dose site on the date and time indicated on their vaccine card. If you receive your first dose in Buncombe County from BCHHS, you are eligible to receive your second dose in our county and you will not need to use the wait list process to schedule the second dose. There is also a standby list process for any extra vaccine at the end of the day. There is never a need to come to the vaccination sites in hopes of extra vaccine as every dose used by those in the eligible vaccination groups.

Those who got their first vaccine on or after Jan. 20 will receive a card with the date of their next vaccination at the time of their first vaccination. Please bring your vaccination card and insurance card to the site when you arrive for your second vaccine. Starting last week, notifications went out via email, robo call, and text to those who are due for their second dose in the coming week. Notifications will also be sent to those who have not received their second dose and are still needing a second dose.

  • COVID-19 Vaccination Waitlist & Standby List FAQ  
    Learn more about the vaccination waitlist and standby list in Buncombe County as we continue to progress through vaccination groups. The waitlist is currently open to individuals in the first two phases of the state’s vaccination priority list: adults 65 and older and all health care workers. You can sign up for the waitlist by calling (828) 250-5000 or by going to www.buncombeready.org. As vaccines are received from the state, representatives from the Ready Team will contact individuals on the waitlist via phone to schedule their appointments.
  • Second COVID-19 Vaccination in Buncombe County  
    If you have already received your first vaccination, learn more about getting the second COVID-19 immunization in Buncombe County. Remember, the level of protection increases dramatically after receiving the second shot of the vaccine. Second shots also provide longer-lasting immunity compared to a single dose.
  • Current COVID-19 Immunization Phase
    Stay up to date with the latest vaccine related information as we continue to progress through the phases. As of today, Buncombe County residents ages 65 and older and all health care workers can now join the COVID-19 vaccinations wait list. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine through answers to some common questions and concerns surrounding the topic. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice and we want you to have access to the resources necessary to make an informed decision.

COVID-19 Metrics & Testing:

Metrics overview: New cases per 100000 per week increased to 284 from 255 last week. This increase is due to a backlog of test results recently submitted by a testing company, which has had state-wide impacts. It is expected that in a couple days the true new incidence rate will be seen.  The percent positivity continues to decline and is now at 5.6%. Testing numbers remains high and people are very much encouraged to get tested if they think they have been exposed or are symptomatic for COVID-19. Hospital data continues to improve with inpatient beds with COVID now below 10% and ICU beds with COVID now at 19%. Please continue to practice the 3Ws and keep your distance from those outside of your household. We have made much progress but we have some miles to go yet.

Schedule a COVID-19 vaccine by joining the waitlist. You can do this by calling (828) 419-0095 or by visiting www.buncombeready.org. The waitlist continues to grow but we are working through it and vaccinating those in the phased vaccination groups with the vaccine that we receive from the state. We continue to schedule appointments with the weekly base allotment of 1,950 doses.

  • Weekly Community Update

As of Feb. 5, 2021, there have been 13,932 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Buncombe County residents. We, as a community, have experienced 265 COVID-related deaths. As of Oct. 1, 2020, updates are being provided in a press release format on our website and in-person updates are provided to the Board of Commissioners at their briefing.  

COVID-19 County Resources:

  • COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Covered For Those Without Insurance

People who are uninsured can get tested and treated for coronavirus at no cost. If a person does not have health insurance at the time of COVID-19 testing or treatment, providers can file a claim in order to receive reimbursement from the government.

·       Spread the Word: https://www.buncombecounty.org/countycenter/news-detail.aspx?id=18996

  • Coronavirus Public Health Materials for Local Businesses
    Materials in both English and Spanish are available to local businesses to help with enforcement of COVID-19 safety measures. We have updated the “Occupancy Limit Signage” and the “NC Face Covering Requirement” signage today in order to reflect the most recent information.

COVID-19 Updates from NCDHHS:

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Press Releases since the last update include:

NEW resources since the last update include:

UPDATED reports since the last update include:

NEW EVENTS ADDED to the community testing events page

UPDATED Contact Tracing numbers

Other News:

  • Helping Small Businesses: One Buncombe Fund Opens Donations, Announces Eligibility Details
    Small businesses looking for help getting through the winter as the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to hamper sales can soon apply for local grants. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners recently approved funding to revitalize the One Buncombe Fund; a community-based grant source that can provide much-needed financial support during these difficult times.
  • Spread the Word: https://www.buncombecounty.org/countycenter/news-detail.aspx?id=19134
  • COVID Relief Funding: Commissioners Approve Positions for $7.8M Grant Administration

During their meeting on Feb. 2, Commissioners unanimously approved hiring four grant-funded positions to help administer the $7.8 million dollars of federal money. Up to 10% of the grant money may be used for administration purposes, and those positions will supplement County Health and Human Services in accepting applications, determining eligibility, and other procedural logistics.

  • 2021 Reappraisal Notices on Their Way to Buncombe County Property Owners    
    As part of the 2021 reappraisal process, Buncombe County property owners can expect to receive a 2021 notice of assessed value early next week. The Office of the Property Assessor is scheduled to mail countywide reappraisal notices on Monday, Feb. 1. Property owners will be able to view their property value information for 2021 on the same day at buncombecounty.org/MyValue2021 by clicking the “Property Records Search” tool and entering their address or PIN.
     
  • Leicester Library Temporarily Transitions to Door-Side Pickup and Computer Reservations Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 2   
    As Buncombe County responds to the COVID-19 public health emergency, staff from every county department is being reassigned to help with the effort. As a result of this staff redistribution, beginning Tuesday, Feb. 2, the Leicester Library will transition from in-person service to door-side pickups. Reservations for computer time will still be available.
     
  • Low Income Energy Assistance Program   
    The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) uses federal funding to provide qualifying households with a one-time vendor payment to help cover heating costs.

Spread the Word: https://www.buncombecounty.org/countycenter/news-detail.aspx?id=19037