Health Department encourages Chathamites to get vaccinated, explains latest face mask guidance

Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Making high quality community journalism isn’t free — please consider supporting our journalism by subscribing to the News + Record today.

Unlimited Digital Access: $3.99/month

Print + Digital: $5.99/month

Posted
Updated:

PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Public Health Department continues to encourage Chatham County residents to take advantage of the many COVID-19 vaccination opportunities across the county.

By visiting myspot.nc.gov, residents can put in their city or ZIP code and find multiple locations in their area to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Locations are also sortable by type of vaccine: the Pfizer vaccine, which is available to all individuals 12 years of age and older, and the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines, which are available to all individuals 18 years of age and older.

The local options include:

The Chatham County Public Health Department is offering first- and second-dose Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations at its Siler City clinic (1000 S. 10th Ave.) on Fridays. To make an appointment, call 919-742-5641. Walk-ins will also be welcome.

StarMed Healthcare is continuing to operate Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center in Pittsboro on Fridays and Saturdays from 2 - 6 p.m. To pre-register, visit starmed.care or call 980-445-9818. Walk-ins are also accepted.

StarMed Healthcare provided Pfizer vaccinations at the Goldston Town Hall (40 Coral Ave. #A) on May 26th. Second-dose appointments will follow three weeks later. To pre-register, visit starmed.care or call 980-445-9818. Walk-ins are also accepted.

With individuals ages 12-17 now eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Chatham youth and their parents are encouraged to find an appointment and roll up their sleeves. Along with the StarMed Healthcare clinics, other Chatham locations offering the Pfizer vaccine include:

Pittsboro Pharmacy, 630 East St., Suite 13, Pittsboro, NC 27312

Walgreens, 321 East St., Pittsboro, NC 27312

Walgreens, 1523 E. 11th St., Siler City, NC 27344

501 Pharmacy, 98 Chapelton Court, Suite 300, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

New CDC mask guidance for fully vaccinated people

On May 13th, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) updated guidance for people who are fully vaccinated to say the following: “Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 has been shown to have many benefits. In short, those who are fully vaccinated face low risk from getting or transmitting the virus through indoor and outdoor activities. This is based on research from the US and around the world showing that COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective.

Based on this research and from hundreds of millions of vaccinations already administered, those who are fully vaccinated are safe to resume activities indoors and outdoors without wearing a mask or social distancing, with low risk of getting sick from COVID-19 or spreading it to others. This means individuals can gather with their friends and go out in public, inside or outside, without wearing a mask.

“We continue to see the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Mike Zelek, Chatham County Public Health Director. “Those who are fully vaccinated are much less likely to get COVID, get very sick or die from COVID, or pass COVID to others. That is why it is safe for fully vaccinated people to get back to doing what they love without wearing masks or keeping their distance. This is very positive news and what we have been anxiously awaiting for over a year.”

For the CDC’s guidance for those who are fully vaccinated, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html.

Gov. Cooper lifts face mask mandate for most places

On May 14th, Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order No. 215, which “lift(ed) the indoor Face Covering requirement on most businesses and operations,” but kept some requirements in place.

North Carolina has had a face mask mandate in place since June 2020 in response to the spread of COVID-19. Executive Order No. 215 cites a few reasons why the change to the face mask mandate is being made, including: “The new CDC recommendations advise that a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to transmit COVID-19 to others; more than half of all North Carolinian (adults) have now received one vaccination dose, and North Carolina is on track to have more and more people be fully vaccinated and at low risk from the disease; in the totality of these circumstances, the undersigned [Gov. Cooper] has determined that at this time the Face Covering requirement should be lifted in most settings.”

There are still several types of places where face masks are required by executive order, including:

• Public and non-public schools

• Child care facilities

• Day and overnight camps

• Healthcare settings, including the CCPHD clinic in Siler City

• Public transportation

• State and local correctional and detention facilities

• Homeless service providers

Additionally, private businesses may require face coverings if they so choose, and it is “strongly recommended” that all individuals wear masks in large indoor seating facilities with 5,000 seats or more.

For those who are not yet vaccinated, face mask usage and social distancing is still strongly encouraged, especially when they are indoors.

“We know that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a big decision and many are still looking for information to help them make that decision,” added Zelek. “If you have not yet gotten vaccinated, we encourage you to reach out to your doctor with questions you may have, look up trustworthy information about the vaccines from sources like our website, and talk to your loved ones who have already gotten vaccinated to hear about their experiences.”

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.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment