Health officials urge caution with fall events | Yadkin Ripple

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Yadkin health officials are urging residents to research and consider the best ways to protect themselves and their families heading into the fall season in addition to the wash, wear, wait to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Community spread of COVID-19 remains a concern for the region. As of Tuesday Yadkin health officials reported 82 active cases with patients in isolation, five of those in the hospital. Yadkin County has had a total 5931 known positive cases for novel coronavirus (COVID-19), 5775 of the confirmed cases haverecovered from the illness.

Neighboring Surry County also continues to see a high case count of the COVID-19 virus.

“We are still experiencing high community transmission,” Surry County Assistant Health Director Maggie Simmons said on Friday. “We have had a total of 12,024 cases of COVID-19, with 220 deaths, 224 of those cases being in the last seven days. As for hospitalizations, according to NC DHHS, there were 43 COVID-19 confirmed patients newly admitted to hospitals in our region as of Oct. 14.”

Health officials are encouraging people to continue following safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A popular fall activity for families is Halloween. The NC Department of Health and Human Services suggests the following for those planning to attend an in-person fall-related event:

• Get your COVID-19 vaccine.

• Wear a mask in public indoor and outdoor settings, stay outside as much possible, and stay at least 6 feet away from others.

• Individuals who are fully vaccinated should also wear a face covering in public indoor settings and crowded outdoor events if you are in a county with high or substantial levels of transmissions, as defined by the CDC.

Hugh Chatham Medical Director for Primary Care Mary-Emma H. Beres, MD, FAAFP, added these additional Halloween safety tips:

1. Keep the fun outside!

2. Trick or treat in small groups and wear masks going to doors for treats.

3. Decorate your child’s mask to match their costume.

4. Have a party outside – avoid indoor gatherings, especially since many trick or treaters are unvaccinated.

5. Keep hand sanitizer easily accessible to use between snacking.

6. Label everyone’s drink cups (or have people bring their favorite travel bottle.)

If you are hosting the trick-or-treaters:

1. Consider having small individualized treats available on a tray or table on your porch and admire the costumes from a safe distance. Restock between visitors.

2. Have a hand sanitizer station.

COVID-19 is not the only concern heading into the fall and winter season. It is likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter, said Yadkin health officials. Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, which makes it difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Testing can help conclude if you are sick with flu or COVID-19. Knowing and practicing health and safety precautions can help protect yourself and your family against flu this season.

The flu vaccine is the best means to reduce the risk of getting the flu and reducing the serious side effects of flu. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “getting a flu vaccine this fall will be more important than ever, not only to reduce your risk from flu but also to help conserve potentially scarce health care resources”. Visit vaccinefinder.org to locate facilities offering the flu vaccine.

Other ways to keep flu activity low is to remember to wash your hands. Handwashing will prevent the spread of communicable disease, including flu and COVID-19. If you start to experience signs or symptoms of flu-like illness, seek medical care and stay home from work or school. Treatment and isolation help prevent the spread of flu and COVID-19. For flu, a person is contagious one day prior to symptoms and up to 5-7 days after onset. People who are sick with flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: Fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue (tiredness), some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Residents with general questions about COVID-19 can call NC 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162.

Residents can also reach the Human Services Agency by dialing 336-849-7910.

More information about COVID-19 can be found at:

• NC DHHS: www.ncdhhs.gov

• CDC: www.cdc.gov

• Yadkin County, NC: https://www.yadkincountync.gov/

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