COVID-19 Increasing Locally; Surge Could Continue into Fall
Updated Aug. 25, 2023
Mecklenburg County has confirmed a cluster of COVID-19 cases among County staff at the Ella B. Scarborough Community Resource Center. A cluster is defined as five or more cases that are epidemiologically linked (person, place, time) or 15 or more cases without an epidemiological link. Service delivery continues at the facility for all program areas except Veterans Services, and the facility will continue to operate as long as required staffing levels can be maintained. Customers seeking assistance from Veterans Services should go to the Valerie C. Woodard Community Resource Center at 3205 Freedom Drive, entrances A or D.
The Public Health Communicable Disease team will continue to monitor the situation in partnership with the resource center’s leadership. A large supply of masks and COVID tests has been made available for staff and customers visiting the facility. The County has standard, daily cleaning protocols for the facility and will have an additional, thorough cleaning this weekend.
As always, staff members and customers who feel unwell should remain home and test for COVID as appropriate.
The following was originally posted on Aug. 8, 2023
Public Health leaders are advising residents of a summer COVID-19 surge. Emergency department visits and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 infection and evidence of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 illness) in wastewater have all been increasing since early July.
This surge has not been caused by a new variant. The Omicron XBB variant, which caused the big surge in January, still accounts for the majority of cases in North Carolina. Health leaders believe waning immunity, travel, and more time indoors due to record-breaking heat are likely causing the surge.
“COVID-19 metrics have been increasing in the County this summer and could continue increasing into the fall,” said Dr. Raynard Washington, Mecklenburg County Public Health Director. “We want to share this information now before hospital admissions reach higher levels. We want to help residents take precautions to avoid getting sick and spreading illness. If you have the onset of what you think is a summer cold, get tested, and do not ignore those symptoms.”
Keep up with local COVID-19 data to decide what safety precautions to take.
Public Health recommends staying home and taking an at-home test if you feel sick. People whose immunity may be fading (i.e., those who last had either a vaccine or COVID-19 illness more than 5 months ago) may want to play it safe by staying away from crowds indoors and washing hands with soap and water more than usual.
New formulations of vaccine targeting the Omicron XBB variant are expected to be available in September, around the same time as the seasonal flu vaccine. Health experts are likely to recommend those vaccines in preparation for the predicted fall surge when schools are back in session and colder weather moves more people indoors.