Last Updated on January 14, 2022 4:10 pm
[Boone, NC] – We are currently experiencing very high community transmission and a large increase in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant. This is the highest number of cases and increase in trends than we have ever experienced during this pandemic.
We urge everyone to take precautions and actions now to limit the spread of the virus.
- Get vaccinated – If you are not vaccinated, now is the time to get your vaccine. We offer walk-in hours from 1:00-4:00pm Monday through Friday for anyone who is needing to get their first vaccines, at no cost if you are eligible for a booster, get it now. The booster will increase your immune response and extend your protection against severe illness. Make a booster appointment with us by calling (828) 795-1970.
- If you test positive or are exposed to COVID-19, follow the CDC guidelines for isolation and quarantine. If you test positive (regardless of vaccination status), isolate away from others for at least 5 days. You can end isolation after 5 days if your symptoms have improved and you have been fever free for 24 hours. Wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask.
- If you are sick, stay home and get a test. Get tested for COVID-19 and limit your time with others until you know your test results. If you can’t get a test, stay home for 5 days and wear a mask for another 5 days when around others. We offer drive thru COVID-19 testing Monday through Friday 8:30-10:00am and no appointment is needed. We will not be offering COVID-19 testing on Monday, January 17th due to being closed to observe MLK Jr. Holiday. Please do not go to the Emergency Department for COVID-19 testing.
- If you have COVID-19 and exposed someone, please tell them. When you can notify individuals directly, that will be the quickest way to tell someone of their potential exposure so they can take actions to protect themselves. Anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 should take the actions outlined in the CDC Guidelines for isolation and quarantine.
- Wear a well-fitted mask, especially in indoor public places. A mask should fit snugly around your face, covering your mouth and nose. Refer to CDC guidance on how to properly select, wear, clean and store masks. We have free adult N95 masks available, while supplies last, for anyone in our community who wants one. Come by our health department locations in Alleghany, Ashe and Watauga Counties during business hours. Masks will be available until supplies run out.
We urge everyone to please take these precautions and actions to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. With this amount of COVID-19 circulating, we want to ensure we protect our hospital capacity. We are hopeful that the majority of cases are going to be mild, but we have seen higher impacts with hospitalizations due to higher case numbers. Please do not go to the Emergency Department for just COVID-19 testing.
“We urge you to take COVID-19 seriously and take actions now to prevent further spread of this virus. We don’t want to see anyone get sick or your loved ones to experience severe outcomes due to this virus. We have the tools to limit the impact on our communities,” said Jennifer Greene, Health Director.
A note for COVID-19 testing next week – Due to the expected winter weather coming in this weekend, we will assess whether we will be able to safely open COVID-19 testing for Tuesday, January 18th. We will reassess the weather and current situation on Monday and then we will make an announcement. COVID-19 testing will not be offered on Monday due to the MLK Jr. Holiday.
If you have questions about COVID-19, reach out to our COVID-19 Call Center at (828) 795-1970 during the hours of 8:00-4:45pm.