CCPHD urges residents to get vaccinated, wear mask in public indoor spaces due to rising COVID-19 trends

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PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Public Health Department urges all Chatham residents to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible and wear a face mask in public indoor spaces, following recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

The spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, among other factors, has led to rising case numbers in Chatham County and North Carolina. The Delta variant now accounts for the vast majority of new COVID-19 infections in North Carolina. Additionally, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have more than doubled within the last two weeks.

In response to rising trends across the country and new scientific research, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) revised its guidance for fully vaccinated people earlier this week. The guidance now states that both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people should “wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.” See the full guidance here.

Chatham County meets the CDC’s definition as an area of high transmission with 111 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population over the last week, more than double the rate from the previous week. Additionally, 8.1% of the county’s COVID-19 tests are coming back positive, a sharp increase from around 1% at the beginning of July. See the full data breakdown at the state's dashboard.

“With the sharp increase in cases, we follow the CDC in recommending both unvaccinated and vaccinated residents wear a mask in public indoor spaces to protect themselves and others from the highly contagious delta variant,” said Chatham County Public Health Director Mike Zelek. “This is especially important in crowded indoor spaces.”

The most important step to take right now is to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Everyone ages 12 and up are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and everyone ages 18 and up are eligible to receive the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Many options exist in Chatham County, including:

• Chatham County Public Health Department clinic (Moderna): 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; 1000 S. Tenth Ave., Siler City

• Goldston Town Hall (StarMed Healthcare) (Pfizer): 2-7 p.m.; 40 Coral Avenue #A, Goldston

To see a full list, visit www.vaccines.gov.

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and the CCPHD’s vaccination plans, visit www.chathamcountync.gov/coronavirusvaccine. To learn more about the Chatham County Public Health Department, visit www.chathamcountync.gov/publichealth or www.facebook.com/chathamhealth.

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