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Buncombe’s COVID-19 metrics plummeting
Tuesday, 01 June 2021 16:37

From Staff Reports 

There were 47 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 per week in Buncombe County during the seven days ending May 17, down significantly from 83 per 100,000 two weeks earlier, according to Buncombe County Public Health Director Stacie Saunders.

She provided the findings during her regular COVID-19 update and briefing during the May 18 meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners in Asheville. (Her next update will be presented at the June 1 board meeting.)

“To date,” Saunders reported, “Health and Human Services has administered more than 90,000 vaccine doses in Buncombe County.

“The percent positivity is 2.6 percent, down a full percentage point from two weeks ago.”

As of May 18, she added, here have been 17,802 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Buncombe County since the pandemic’s start.

“There have been 315 COVID-19-related deaths in our community,” she noted.

What’s more, Saunder asserted, “Regional hospitalizations remain low overall, though show a slight uptick in the 18-county region. Local hospitalizations remain low.”

Regarding Buncombe’s vaccines statistics as of May 18, she said, “Since Dec. 22, (in 2020) Buncombe County Health and Human Services has administered more than 90,000 total doses of the vaccine with help and support from Buncombe County Emergency Services.”

Saunders added that, Buncombe’s “statistics for all vaccine providers (as) per (the) N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Dashboard” show that “about 49 percent of the total Buncombe County population (127,664 people) has been vaccinated with at least one dose.”

The Dashboard, she said, also shows the following:

• “Almost 77 percent of people 75 and older in Buncombe County have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

• “More than half of people between 25 and 64 in Buncombe County have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

• “About 41 percent of people 18-24 in Buncombe County have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

• “About 18 percent of children ages 12-17 in Buncombe County have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

• “41 percent of the total North Carolina population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

• “52 percent of North Carolina adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine.”

Saunders then reported, “I would like to note that, as of last week (mid-May), the state reported the lowest age group as 0-17 and at that time, just more than 5 percent of that age band had received at least one vaccine.

“To see this jump 13 percentage points in just a matter of days is a testament to families and caregivers who want to protect their loved ones and the community — and a testament to vaccine-providers across the county who quickly adapted to providing vaccine to teens and adolescents. If you have not yet received your vaccine, get ahead of summer camp, vacation and summer travel by getting your teens or tweens vaccinated now.”

As for upcoming vaccine events, Saunders said that “all Buncombe County Health & Human Services vaccine administration takes place at A-B Tech Conference Center, 16 Fernihurst Drive, Asheville. 

“Walk-in vaccines are available during clinic hours of Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. 

“Appointments can also be scheduled by visiting or by calling (828) 419-0095.” 

For what she termed “pop-up vaccine events,” she noted that “no appointment (is) necessary.”

Regarding testing for COVID-19, Saunders suggested visiting “the Find my Testing Place website or visit to register for COVID-19 testing in Buncombe County. Individuals who are showing symptoms or believe they have had close contact to COVID-19 should get tested.

“While no longer mandated broadly, health officials encourage people to continue to practice the 3Ws to stop transmission of COVID-19, even if they’ve been vaccinated. For more information about COVID-19, vaccine appointments, and COVID testing, go to,” Saunders said.



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