Mecklenburg County monitors recent increase in COVID-19 cases

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — After weeks of stable or decreasing numbers, Mecklenburg County health officials said Thursday they are monitoring an increase in positive cases over the past few days.

“The increases are likely due to a combination of more social activity during the recent spring holidays and the growing presence of the omicron BA.2 subvariant,” said Dr. Raynard Washington, public health director.

According to health officials, the omicron variant has been present in all samples collected since May 2, through the county’s sequencing surveillance system. The BA.2 subvariant of omicron is the dominant strain being detected.

Health experts believe that socialization and people going out because of warm weather are causing an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

“If you ask nine out of 10 people on the street, they would say that the pandemic is over, right?” said Daniel Janies, a professor of bioinformatics and genomics at UNC Charlotte. “But you know, Coronavirus doesn’t listen to that.”

Janies has been watching COVID-19 trends drop or stay steady in Mecklenburg County for the last seven weeks.

“I see a slight uptick,” Janies said. “But again, we don’t really know that much, because all the home testing going.

North Carolina is reporting more than 12,000 cases for the week ending April 30. That’s an increase from nearly 9,800 cases the week before.

A map from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shows none of the counties in the state are dealing with a strain on the health care system.

Health officials continue to advise those who are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 to wear a face mask.

Here are ways that health officials say people can stay protected against COVID-19:

  • Being up to date on COVID-19 vaccines. That means everyone 12 years old and up should have a booster vaccine. People 50 and over who received their third dose of the vaccine more than four months ago are eligible for a fourth dose.
  • If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, including those that may seem like seasonal allergies, isolate from others and take a rapid antigen test at home or visit a provider for a PCR test.
  • Knowing your COVID-19 treatment options and discussing them with you provider.
  • If you test positive, seek treatment early, isolate from others for at least five days and wear a mask around other people for an additional five days after isolation is complete.

For more information on COVID-19 from Mecklenburg County, click here.

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