Haywood County Test status update, message from health director

Haywood County -- This has been a rough year. Everyone is tired. We know the virus is everywhere and wants to spread. After a significant spike of cases in July, we were encouraged by a dramatic decline in cases.  

As we head into the fall, our cases are now climbing again. At this time, we have two positives helping Haywood County going forward:

1.       Public Health has the infrastructure in place to manage COVID cases and contact tracing.

2.       Haywood County residents know how to tamp down the virus and cut the chains of transmissionà Mask, Distance & hand wash. We’ve done it once, we can do it again. We are grateful to everyone who is doing their part to fight this virus. Keep it up!!

·         Case trends this week: Our COVID working number (People in Isolation and Quarantine) has been steadily climbing all week. Monday: 85, Tuesday: 101, Wednesday: 111 and Thursday: 118.

o   A birthday party (and hot tub) with 15 people, no masks, no distancing. The index case arrived pre-symptomatic and became ill the day after the party. At this time, we have 7 cases and numerous contacts from those cases awaiting test results.

o   Five cases in Haywood County schools. No relation among these cases.

o   A Haywood resident exposed out of county at his work by his boss who “refuses to wear a mask anywhere.” Boss tested positive. Transmitted virus to the Haywood resident who is now hospitalized.

·         Mental health concerns during this pandemic: Unfortunately, this month we’ve seen two “Deaths of Despair” in relatively young Haywood County men. As suicide and a death caused by years of Alcohol abuse. Mental Health of individuals has been a concern since the beginning of this awful pandemic but we’ve not mentioned it lately. If you or someone you love need help see below

o   Hope 4 NC is a helpline offering support for all North Carolinians.  The line features a Crisis Counseling Program designed for COVID-19.  The number is 1-855-587-3463. 

o   Hope 4 Healers provides support to frontline healthcare workers, first responders, and education staff (as well as their families).  The number is 919-226-2002. 

o   More information about either service is available here.  Both are available 24/7. 

·         Haywood County Public Health will have a Drive -Through Flu shot clinic for adults at the Haywood County Fairgrounds (758 Crabtree Road, Waynesville) on Tuesday, October 27 from 1pm-3pm. High-Dose flu vaccine will be available, Insurance accepted

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