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Buncombe case rates termed promising — however, death rate increasing, local public health director reports
Monday, 15 November 2021 12:02

From Staff Reports

Buncombe County continues to see the COVID-19 case rate and percent positivity decline when compared to the prior week, according to Buncombe Public Health Director Stacie Saunders. 

Saunders’ assessment was voiced during her biweekly county coronavirus update during the Nov. 2 meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.

“Cases per 100,000 per week decreased from 119 last week to 107 this week,” Saunders told the commissioners.

“At 4.7 percent, the percent positivity dropped below 5 percent for the first time since July. The death rate increased since week prior, with seven new deaths reported in Buncombe County residents this week.”

She added, “The takeaway message right now is that we continue to see improvement, but the decline in the surge is happening slower than the rise or increase occurred.

“This means we remain in a space of high transmission. Please don’t let your guard down. COVID-19 is still abundantly circulating in our community.”

While cases across the board are decreasing, Saunders sai the greatest proportion of new cases remains in people ages 25-49.

“Buncombe County Health and Human Services recently concluded a 30-day vaccination push during which nearly 650 first doses were administered,” she noted.

“About 71 percent of the eligible population in Buncombe County (people ages 12 and older) have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

“Last week, the FDA provided emergency use authorization for vaccines for children ages 5-11. CDC recommendation is required before vaccinations can occur and approval is anticipated shortly. 

“Upon direction from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, BCHHS will support pediatric administration and will modify operations at 40 Coxe to prepare the clinic for adolescents. All vaccine administration at 40 Coxe will take place Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.”

What’s more, she said, Saturday outreach events will take place from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

• Nov. 20 – North Buncombe High

• Dec. 4 – Erwin High, TC Roberson High

• Dec. 11 – Owen High, A.C. Reynolds High

“The NCDHHS will support a family vaccination site at the Edington Center — and FEMA will provide vaccine resource extension.,” Saunders said.

“On Nov. 9, BCHHS will host a Parent Town Hall to answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines for young people. Go to to learn more.  

“Currently, locally funded $100 incentive cards are available while supplies last for eligible individuals (18 years and up) receiving their first dose of vaccine at the Buncombe County Vaccination Clinic or at any BCHHS pop-up clinic. 

“Individuals can visit the Buncombe County Health Department at 40 Coxe Ave., Asheville Tuesday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. to receive a vaccination. Individuals can also visit to find a vaccination site near you.”

Saunders also noted that, “last week, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners extended the face covering requirement for indoor public spaces through Nov. 30.

“If you are having symptoms consistent with COVID-19, get tested. Testing locations can be found at Find My Testing Site NC. StarMed offers testing at Harrah’s Event Center Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and on Sundays at A-B Tech from noon until 4 p.m.,” Saunders said in concluding her update.



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