July 30, 2021
Dear Craven County,
I wanted to give you an update on the local Covid situation. I was hopeful, as I am sure many of you were, that the situation was improving and that we could move on with our lives. Our daily transmission rates in Craven County had dropped to two cases per day. The number of Craven County Covid hospital cases at CarolinaEast Medical Center was down to three people. Things were looking good.
Unfortunately, there has been a resurgence of cases across the country. Now we have six Covid patients at CarolinaEast Medical Center and our number of daily cases has increased from 2 to 11. You can imagine how frustrating it is to the medical community to have to treat a condition that could have been prevented by a vaccine that is readily available. We know that the majority of our recent cases are people between the ages of 18 and 49 and unvaccinated. The Delta variant is present in Craven County. It is also more contagious. It is not necessarily any more dangerous as most physicians are seeing that the symptoms are not any worse, but it is more contagious.
You may say to yourself that most of the Covid cases among younger healthier people are mild to moderate so I will just take my chances. By now I’m sure you know of someone that had a mild case, you probably also know of someone that died from Covid. Either way I am sure you do not want to find yourself in the position of having to use your leave time from work to quarantine because you or a household member are positive for Covid and you are not vaccinated. You do not want to have to miss out on something you really want to do because of being an unvaccinated contact to a positive Covid case. Nobody wants to be the link that transmits it to someone and puts them in the hospital either.
There has been a lot of press about the Delta variant and break through cases. Break through cases are those people that test positive for Covid that also had the vaccine. From what I have researched the percent of breakthrough cases is very small, a fraction of a percent. The North Carolina Department of Public Health is telling us that the cases are spreading through the unvaccinated. The vaccines work and I took one myself. If you have not gotten your vaccine yet, please call 636-6693 to make an appointment. The Craven County Health Department is committed to making sure that everyone who would like a vaccine receives one. Thank you and we hope to see you soon.
Scott Harrelson, MPA
Craven County Health Director