Officials encourage reinforcements as COVID-19 hospitalizations rise.
NCDHHS aligns with the CDC and outlines updated guidance on actions to take after exposure to COVID-19.
With COVID-19 hospitalizations on the rise, getting a COVID-19 booster continues to be the single most important thing North Carolinians can do to support themselves and their loved ones out of the hospital, North Carolina officials. North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. announced today.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 cases in North Carolina have increased by more than 20% in the past three days. Hospitals reported 331 admissions in the past 24 hours, an increase of more than 40% from Monday’s seven-day moving average of 232 admissions per day.
“Now is the time to get your booster shot,” said Kody H. Kinsley, Assistant Chief Secretary for Health and incoming Secretary of the NCDHHS. “We have a lot of vaccines in the state, and getting a booster shot, or getting vaccinated if you’re not already, dramatically lowers the risk of serious illness and hospitalization for the Omicron variant.”
The NCDHHS has also adopted an updated guide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, outlining what people should do if they contract or are exposed to COVID-19 to help slow the spread to others:
If you have symptoms, regardless of vaccination status , get tested and isolate yourself from others while you wait for the result. If you cannot get tested, follow the instructions below as if it were positive.
If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 and you are
- Unvaccinated: Stay away from other people for 5 days, get tested on day 5 after exposure, and if negative, return to normal activities while wearing a mask for an additional 5 days.
- Vaccinated and eligible for a booster dose, but have not received the booster dose yet: stay away from others for 5 days, get tested on day 5 after exposure, and if the test is negative, return to your normal activities while wearing a mask for 5 days additional.
- Vaccinated and have received your booster or are not yet eligible for a booster; You don’t need to stay away from others, but you should wear a mask for 10 days.
If you test positive, regardless of vaccination status, and
- Have no symptoms : isolate yourself from others for 5 days and then wear a mask for 5 more days when you return to your normal activities.
- You have symptoms: isolate yourself from others until you are fever free and your symptoms improve. You need to isolate yourself for at least 5 days after your symptoms started. Once you stop isolating, you must wear a mask for an additional 5 days.
People who have received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines are eligible for a booster shot after six months. Those who received a single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine should initially receive a booster after two months. According to the CDC, those who are eligible for the boosters and have not received them must follow the stricter guidelines for quarantine and masks.
The CDC guidance distinguishes between those who get a boost and those who are eligible but don’t get a boost. He cites initial data from South Africa showing that two doses of mRNA provide 35% protection against infection. With a booster shot, that increases to 75%.
In all cases, a well-fitting mask is recommended ( CDC guide ). If possible, wear a surgical or procedure mask, a KN95 or N95 respirator. In general, the CDC recommends that all unvaccinated people 2 years and older wear a mask indoors. To find a free community testing event or testing site near you, visit ncdhhs.gov/gettested . Do not visit the emergency room to get tested.
Vaccines are available to everyone 5 years of age and older. To find a vaccine or booster shot near you, visit MySpot.nc.gov . More information about the CDC guide is available online .
Image by DoroT Schenk from Pixabay