Burke County is now considered a high transmission area for COVID-19.
The Burke County Health Department reported 160 active cases of COVID-19 on Friday, with total cases of the virus since March 2020 at 27,897 cases. The total number of cases is up from 27,536 on July 18.
The New York Times has tracked the pandemic across the country and world since it started. It’s COVID-19 tracker shows Burke County has seen an average of 35 new cases per day in the last 14-day period. Next door, Catawba County is seeing an average of 80 new cases per day over the period.
The dominant variant of COVID-19 in the U.S. now is the BA.5 variant. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said this week that 50 counties in the state were at high level of community risk of the virus, with low or medium levels of community risk in the remaining counties.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Burke County at a high community virus transmission level.
Chae Moore, public information officer for the Burke County Health Department, said other counties surrounding Burke also are in a high rate of virus transmission. The CDC advises those living in high transmission areas should wear a mask indoors in public, particularly people who are more susceptible to COVID-19 complications, Moore said.
UNC Health Blue Ridge reported eight people with the virus were hospitalized in Burke County on Friday, with two of those people in the intensive care unit. It reported 40 patients in its COVID-19 virtual hospital.
NCDHHS said this week there was an increase in reported cases and hospital admissions from the previous week.
People who have been exposed to COVID-19 should get tested five days after exposure or if symptoms develop, according to NCDHHS.
The department says treatments for the virus are available and can lower the risk of hospitalization or death. But, it said, treatments must be given as soon as you feel sick and can only be prescribed by a medical professional.
There are test-to-treat locations where a person can be tested and if they test positive, get a prescription for treatment at the same location. The closest place to most of Burke County is at CVS at 1504 NE 2nd St., Hickory, according to the NCDHHS website https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/FindTreatment.
To order free home tests, visit https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/home-covid-19-tests.