An increase in COVID-19 cases across much the country is worrisome, but Macon County health officials are hopeful that the county can avoid a major spike – if residents follow virus protocols.
As of 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, Macon County Public Health, reported 37 active positive cases, compared to 23 a week earlier on Oct. 19. Total cases rose to 747, including 703 recovered and seven deaths.
“We feel like we need to remain vigilant to prevent that second wave from hitting Macon County,” said Emily Ritter, a health department spokeswoman. “We obviously want people to be prepared for a second wave of COVID. The pandemic is not over, and there is COVID fatigue.”
The holidays will bring more people together in close spaces, and churches are resuming indoor services, two factors that could contribute to further spread, Ritter said.
“If you’re able to have church services outside, we would prefer that, and we’re encouraging that they still have online services,” she said.
Another aggravating factor in the fight against COVID is the onset of the annual flu season.
“We’re trying to emphasize that, as we head into flue season, people should be getting vaccinations,” Ritter said. “COVID protocols work with the flu as well.”
On Oct. 20, the county reported that a fourth Macon County Public Health employee had tested positive. The employee is isolating at home and is reported to be doing well.
As of noon on Tuesday, Oct. 27, the state reported 263,883 total cases, 3,890,746 completed tests and 1,214 patients currently hospitalized. On Oct 15-16, North Carolina recorded the most confirmed cases for any day since the pandemic began, topping out at 2,614 new confirmed cases on Oct. 16.
Ritter said the number of cases at Macon County schools is not out of line with other school systems.
“Macon County is not alone with the number of cases in schools,” she said. “We’re seeing the same sort of numbers.”
Because of the increase in COVID cases, Macon County Animal Services will be limiting services until at least Nov. 2, according to the health department. Animal services will continue to provide essential services, including conducting bite investigations, but the lobby will be closed to the public. Animal surrenders, adoptions, picking up stray animals, and responding to nuisance calls will be discontinued until Nov. 2.