The following COVID-19 information is compiled from local and state agencies from Jan. 4 to Jan. 11.
Watauga County has reached 7,673 total COVID-19 cases as of Jan. 11 — an increase of approximately 645 cases from Jan. 4. AppHealthCare is currently re-evaluating data measures to be posted to its dashboard that are reflective of the current situation and is shifting its focus to metrics that better reflect the current trend of cases. As of Jan. 11, there is not active case count data.
No new deaths were reported in the Jan. 11 update in Watauga County. AppHealthCare reported two deaths in its Dec. 28 update to bring the total number of deaths among Watauga County residents to 45. AppHealthCare also reported one death on Dec. 9, another death on Dec. 10 and another one on Dec. 14.
The Triad HealthCare Preparedness Coalition region — which includes Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Caldwell, Catawba, Davie, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford, Iredell, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin — reports 938 people are hospitalized, with 201 of those in the ICU as of Jan. 10.
AppHealthCare reported two active clusters in Watauga County as of its last situation update on Jan. 7. In its COVID-19 situation report, AppHealthCare reported clusters at:
- The Hospitality House with seven cumulative cases. The last positive result was on Dec. 22 and as of the last report zero cases were active.
- The Foley Center with three cumulative cases. The last positive result came on Dec. 8, and as of the last report two cases were active.
The App State COVID-19 dashboard reports 13 active COVID-19 cases among students and eight among employees as of Dec. 10. For the week ending on Dec. 10, 545 COVID-19 tests were conducted with 7 — or 1.3 percent — coming back positive. Since Aug. 1, the university has conducted 24,845 on-campus COVID-19 tests with 632 — or 2.5 percent — coming back positive. The dashboard will be updated again on Jan. 18.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports Watauga County has administered 33,187 first dose COVID-19 vaccines as of Jan. 10. NCDHHS also reports 30,977 people have completed the vaccine series in Watauga County as of Jan. 10.
As of Jan. 10, 59 percent of the population in Watauga County has been at least partially vaccinated and 55 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, according to NCDHHS.
App State reports 71 percent of students are vaccinated and 84 percent of employees are vaccinated as of Dec. 10. The App State COVID-19 dashboard will next be updated on Jan. 18.
The FDA now authorizes and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individuals who received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine get a booster dose after five months. This announcement from federal agencies comes just three days after the announcement of a shortened wait time for a booster from six months to five months for individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine.
Current recommendation for COVID-19 boosters is:
- Those who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine should get a booster five months after their last dose.
- Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get a booster two months after their initial dose.
Anyone ages 12 and older should receive a booster. The CDC also recommends a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 who have compromised immune systems.
Adults may receive any brand of the COVID-19 vaccine for their booster, while children 12 to 17 can only receive Pfizer. NCDHHS encourages individuals to speak with a doctor, nurse or pharmacist if they have questions about what booster is right for them.
Boosters are available anywhere COVID-19 vaccines are available. People do not need a doctor’s note to get a booster shot. Individuals who want to receive a booster will need to know the dates of any past COVID-19 vaccinations as well as the vaccine brand they originally received. Paper vaccination cards are helpful but may not be necessary. At-home vaccination and free transportation may be available.