Mirroring a statewide and nationwide trend, Yadkin County COVID-19 cases are on the rise. According to the latest data from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, 18 new cases were reported in the county on Sunday, July 25 — the highest single day new case count since early February.
“Based on the NC DHHS COVID-19 County Alert System, Yadkin County is light yellow or at moderate community spread,” said Yadkin County Human Services Director Jessica Wall.
Wall said patients recently diagnosed have reported more gastrointestinal symptoms. Other commonly reported symptoms include itchy, watery eyes, congestion and sinus pressure, much like one would see when experiencing allergies.
According to state data available Wednesday morning, 50% of North Carolinians have received at least one vaccine dose; 47% are fully vaccinated. In Yadkin County, 39% of residents have received at least one dose and 37% are fully vaccinated. In comparison to neighboring counties, 40% in Surry County and 33% in Wilkes County are fully vaccinated.
Hugh Chatham Primary Care Medical Director Dr. Mary-Emma Beres said that residents who are unvaccinated should wear a mask in public at all times, and if they do not intend to get vaccinated, “I recommend that they reconsider that in the interest of their parents and also in relation to children who are not old enough to be vaccinated. It’s a way of taking care of your family and community.”
County health department officials did not provide data of any breakdown of diagnoses among vaccinated versus unvaccinated individuals. However, Beres said that all recent hospital admissions at Hugh Chatham have been among those unvaccinated, except for one patient in his 80s who had significant additional medical conditions.
Another trend in current local COVID-19 cases seen by Beres is that between 70% and 80% involve the more highly transmissible Delta variant.
“What I’ve seen also is that before — with the first round of COVID-19 — you might have one or two people in a household who get it and not the others,” Beres said of her observations of both outpatient and in-patient cases. “Now we’re seeing entire households getting sick together. I know one situation where the mother was admitted to our hospital, the father was transferred out to another hospital and the adult children are all at home and tested positive.”
Yadkin County continues to offer free vaccines to anyone age 12 and older on an appointment or walk-in basis at the county medical clinic, 20 W. Maple St. in Yadkinville.
“Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic,” Wall said. “All individuals age 2 and older that are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear masks indoors, especially in crowded areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained.”
Wall recommends isolation or quarantine for anyone who suspects they have COVID-19 or has had known exposure to a positive case. For anyone showing symptoms, testing is recommended. After exposure and if no symptoms are present, get tested after five days from last known exposure to the positive individual. Free community testing is available at the Yadkin Medical Campus at 624 W. Main St. in Yadkinville and at the East Bend Volunteer Fire Department at 200 School St. in East Bend. Both of these locations are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Lisa Michals may be reached at 336-448-4968 or follow her on Twitter @lisamichals3.