CDC map of North Carolina and Charlotte counties in code red for COVID-19

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Cabarrus, Rowan and Gaston counties are considered the hardest hit in the Charlotte area with COVID-19 exposure levels in the red zone, according to federal health officials.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people in code red or high-exposure counties are urged to wear a mask indoors in public, keep up to date on vaccinations and get tested if symptoms appear. .

The levels – low (green), medium (yellow) and high (red) – are determined by hospital beds used, hospital admissions and the total number of new COVID cases in an area, previously reported. The Charlotte Observer.

From July 11 to 24, there were 1,282 cases of COVID in Gaston; 1,292 in Cabarrus; and 729 in Rowan counties, according to CDC data.

Nine North Carolina counties moved from a medium-to-high risk classification this week, bringing the total number of high-risk counties to 50, The News & Observer reported.

In a press release last week, Governor Roy Cooper encouraged everyone in North Carolina to “know their risk and take steps to protect themselves” against the rise in cases caused by the most dominant strain. of the country, the Omicron BA.5 sub-variant.

“As Covid variants continue to infect people, we have the tools to protect ourselves from the most severe effects of this virus, he said.

Mecklenburg in code yellow

Before the 4th of July weekend, Mecklenburg moved to code green or low exposure, but the county returned to medium exposure or yellow in less than a month.

From July 1-14, 6,867 cases were reported, an increase of 10% from the previous two-week period, according to Mecklenburg County. More than 50% of cases are the Omicron BA.5 subvariant, according to county data.

Due to the average level of exposure, people in Mecklenburg at high risk of severe illness should wear a mask, keep up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control. and Prevention.

The county was previously in code yellow in early June.

Ways to Prepare

To prepare for a possible increase in cases, Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services advise people to:

Get their reminder if they haven’t yet. And get their second callback if they qualify.

Have a supply of home tests handy. Free home tests are available from federal and community sites and insurance will cover eight free home tests per person per month.

Have a plan for how to seek treatment after a positive test. Find out now where the treatment options are nearby.

Add a layer of protection by wearing a mask in crowded indoor environments, especially for people at high risk of serious complications from COVID-19.

Increase ventilation of interior spaces by opening windows.

This story was originally published July 25, 2022 12:05 p.m.

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Jonathan Limehouse is a breaking news reporter and covers all the major events in the Charlotte area. He covered a litany of other beats from public safety, education, public health and sports. He is a proud graduate of UNC Charlotte and a native of Raleigh.

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