CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As of Friday, Mecklenburg County has moved to the highest CDC COVID-19 Community Level.
Officials say the change from medium to high in the county reflects a continued increase in positive cases, which has resulted in an increased burden on County resources.
The Omicron BA.5 variant, which appears to be more contagious and more resistant to immunity from vaccines or previous COVID-19 illness, currently represents the majority of new cases in the United States and here in Mecklenburg County, according to a news release.
“At this highest Community Level, we all must take steps to slow the spread and use the effective tools we have available: get up to date with your vaccines, stay home if you’re not feeling well and test, and meet outdoors when possible” said Dr. Raynard Washington, Mecklenburg County Public Health director. “We all need to do our part.”
Officials say residents should consider masking when in public indoor settings, and those who are at risk for serious illness from COVID-19 should consider additional precautions like avoiding gatherings all together.
Officials say anyone experiencing any symptoms should stay home, and get tested right away.
Before gathering, officials say to get up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, including any recommended booster doses, to protect yourself and your community.
Officials say the COVID-19 Community Level tool helps people decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest COVID-19 data in their community. Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area. The following are CDC recommendations for people living in counties at COVID-19 High Community Level:
- Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.
- Get tested if you have symptoms.
- Wear a mask indoors in public and keep indoor areas ventilated when possible.
- Follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19.
- If you are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are a candidate for treatments like oral antivirals and monoclonal antibodies.
Everyone can take these precautions now to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
- Get vaccinated at the two Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) locations (Southeast Health Department, 249 Billingsley Road, Charlotte and Northwest Health Department, 2845 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte) or at a local provider, pharmacy, or community clinic or event.
- Get tested if you feel ill, either in person at a provider or testing event or at home using a test kit.
- If you cannot travel, request a mobile vaccination visit and order free at-home test kits delivered to your home.
- If you feel ill and are at high risk of hospitalization, visit the federal Test to Treat locator to find locations that offer testing, diagnosis, and treatment in one place.
For more information about Mecklenburg County’s COVID-19 indicators, vaccines, testing, treatment, and resources, visit mecknc.gov/COVID-19.