As you are probably aware, we are seeing an uptick in COVID cases in our area. Mountain Community Health Partnership (MCHP) is seeing a rise in demand for testing and a rise in positive cases. The numbers are still quite small but in an effort educate the community; we felt it pertinent to release our recent data. We are doing 15-30 tests per day and, in the past few days; we have had 3-6 positives cases each day. There is very little testing going on in the county, so the state COVID dashboard shows 55 positive cases in the past 14 days in Yancey County and 6 positive cases in the past 14 days in Mitchell County. (Data pulled on 7/29/2021 at 1:30pm EST.) Tim Evans, Director of Grants and Business Development says, “We don’t know, at this point, if the Delta Variant is here. One issue is that MCHP’s rapid tests do not go to the state lab, which is the only way we would know for sure. I’m not sure it really matters. We all just need to be aware that COVID is still here.”
The very best thing you can do to protect yourself, the people you love, and our community is to get vaccinated. According to the CDC and FDA, 187.2 million Americans have been vaccinated and THREE deaths have been linked to vaccines. COVID has killed over 612,000 people. The CDC says more than 97 percent of hospitalizations for COVID-19 involve unvaccinated patients. The U.S. surgeon general says 99.5 percent of U.S. COVID deaths are among the unvaccinated. The best protection against COVID is vaccination. Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. If you are still unsure, please talk to your medical provider.
MCHP has COVID vaccines available. Pfizer is the only one approved for children age 12 and up. Vaccines are also available at the Health Department, CVS, Prescription Pad, and Ingles. (Please call them for availability.) MCHP currently has very limited testing capacity. If you are unable to get a test at MCHP, please be aware that the Yancey County Health Department is offering drive-thru testing Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 9am-6pm without an appointment. Mitchell County Health Department is offering testing by appointment.
Most insurances cover COVID-19 testing and the COVID vaccine, with no cost to the patient. (Please check with your insurance carrier for more information.) COVID testing and vaccines are free for uninsured patients. MCHP wants to ensure that everyone that wants COVID testing and vaccines can get them. As a Community Health Center, one of the things that we can do to help keep our communities safe is to provide testing and vaccines for the COVID-19 virus. By increasing our knowledge of the prevalence and spread of the virus in our community, we all gain important information to help reduce the impact of COVID.
*You can also help to protect yourself is by following the three Ws. Wear a cloth face covering. Wait at least 6 feet apart. (Practice social distancing.) Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.