Mecklenburg County moves from low COVID-19 community level to medium

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — On Friday, Mecklenburg County moved from the CDC’s low COVID-19 Community Level (green) to medium (yellow).

The levels can be low, medium, or high and are assigned based on the amount of hospital beds being used, hospital admissions and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area.

The change from low to medium in Mecklenburg County reflects what health leaders call a “significant increase” in positive cases.

“This change to the medium level means that people with underlying conditions such as asthma, COPD, high blood pressure, and heart disease or anyone with a weakened immune system should be more cautious now,” said Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Dr. Raynard Washington in a statement. “To stay safe, all individuals should consider masking, avoid large gatherings, and make sure that you are up to date on COVID vaccines, including booster doses for those who are eligible. If you do have symptoms, please get tested or take a rapid test, and consult with your health care provider about available treatment options.”

Dr. Katie Passaretti, Atrium’s top infectious disease doctor said with the increase of cases, they’re cautioning those in higher risk categories to avoid indoor gatherings and to mask up.

She said the dominant strain in our community right now is a sub-variant of omicron, but unlike other COVID-19 surges, doctors aren’t seeing the same increase in seriously ill patients.

“We are not seeing the extent of COVID-related hospitalizations, certainly those numbers have gone up somewhat but nowhere near what we’ve seen with the prior surges,” Passaretti said.

That she said is a combination of vaccinations, booster shots and short-term immunity from all of those who had omicron earlier this year.

The following are CDC recommendations for people living in counties at the medium level:

  • If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other safety precautions.
  • Stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms.

Regardless of COVID community level, everyone can take these precautions now to protect themselves and others from the virus:

A summary of North Carolina’s latest COVID-19 data can be found below. Click here for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ full COVID dashboard.