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PITTSBORO — More than 42% of Chatham County residents had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while the community continues its efforts to end the pandemic.
According to data from the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 31,586 Chatham residents have received at least one dose as of last week, while 23,856 residents, making up 32% of the county’s population, are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. For more on Chatham vaccination data, visit https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard/vaccinations.
“It has been four months since we received our first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine and we have made tremendous strides in protecting ourselves against this deadly virus by getting vaccinated,” said Chatham County Public Health Director Mike Zelek. “That said, we have seen demand for vaccinations slow down in recent weeks and I am concerned we will not reach the level needed to get beyond this pandemic if these trends continue. If you have not gotten your vaccine yet, it’s now your turn. The good news is there are more options to get vaccinated than ever, including many that don’t even require an appointment.”
All Chatham County residents aged 16 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and have a variety of means to receive their shot in Chatham County. For locations in and around Chatham County to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, visit myspot.nc.gov.
Latest on health department’s efforts
The Chatham County Public Health Department has continued its outreach, education and vaccination efforts. The department administered second doses to individuals at the Chatham County Detention Center this week, along with some second doses at its clinic in Siler City.
The department will begin taking first-dose vaccine appointments at its clinic on Fridays beginning May 7th.
StarMed continues to operate COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center in Pittsboro. Beginning next week, StarMed will provide first doses at the Ag Center between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Gov. Cooper outlines timeline
During a press conference on April 21, Gov. Roy Cooper said that the state plans to lift mandatory social distancing, capacity and mass gathering restrictions by June 1 if COVID-19 trends continue to be stable and vaccinations continue to increase. The face covering mandate will likely remain in place for those spending time indoors in public. Both NCDHHS and the CCPHD urge all businesses and residents to continue to follow health recommendations.
For the full news release, visit https://governor.nc.gov/news/governor-cooper-outlines-timeline-lifting-state%E2%80%99s-covid-19-restrictions.
The CCPHD encourages all residents to continue to practice the 3 Ws in public — wearing a face covering, washing your hands regularly and waiting six feet apart from others — both before and after vaccination.
The CDC says it is safe for fully vaccinated people — those who have received the full dosage (one for Johnson & Johnson, two for Moderna and Pfizer) at least two weeks ago — to gather with others in small groups indoors without wearing a mask. However, according to the CDC, it remains important to “keep taking precautions … like wearing a mask, staying six feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces — in public places.” Individuals can read more about the CDC’s recommendations for fully-vaccinated individuals here: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html.
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.