COVID News Update: 12/18/20

December 18, 2020

Here’s a round up of COVID-19 related news for 12/18/20. See our Coronavirus Resource Guide for extensive resources and information. 

  • More than 300 no-cost, walk-up or drive-through COVID-19 testing events will be offered during the next two weeks to help slow the spread of COVID-19 during the holidays.
  • NCDHHS has selected 17 school districts and 11 charter schools to participate in a pilot program to deploy COVID-19 rapid testing in K-12 public schools where any in-person instruction is happening. Includes Asheville City Schools (11 locations), Buncombe County Schools (44 locations), Francine Delany Charter School (1 location)
  • Mission Hospital COVID Unit RN Matthew Kohberger made history this morning as the first person to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination at Mission Hospital. Mission has received 3,000 doses of vaccine currently and are working through vaccinating on a tier schedule. If all goes as planned, Buncombe County is expecting 700 doses to begin vaccinating Tuesday, Dec. 22 and will follow state’s plan which calls for first vaccinating health care workers at greatest risk of exposure.

Celebrate the Holidays safely

With the rising COVID-19 trends, NCDHHS strongly recommends avoiding holiday travel and limiting contact with people who do not live in your household.

If you do plan to get together with people you don’t live with:

  • Get tested 1-3 days before you travel. Get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home for 7 days after travel. Find a testing site near you, including no-cost locations.
  • Keep the gathering outside.
  • Wear a mask at all times unless eating and drinking. Make sure you’re 6 feet away from others if eating or drinking.

Remember that following the 3 Ws (wearing a mask, waiting 6 feet apart and washing your hands often) are still the best tools to protect our loved ones and ensure our hospitals have the capacity for those that need them.

For detailed holiday guidance, please see the Winter Holidays Guidance Flyer.

COVID-19 Immunization FAQs from the County

Tested, safe, and effective COVID-19 vaccines will help us defeat the virus, get back in control of our lives, and back to the people and places we love.

Scientists had a head start. The vaccines were built upon years of work in developing vaccines for similar viruses. No short cuts were made in the development of the vaccine and through massive cooperation of the best minds in science all over the world, we now have a vaccine that can shield us from getting COVID-19. Just like the unprecedented global pandemic we are in now, the COVID-19 immunization is an unprecedented and exciting development for the health of the public. Read FAQs

The SCOOP on Managing Stress with Hope4NC

Many Organizations in our area are looking for resources to help their employees manage stress during this time of crisis and uncertainty. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has established two mental health resources to assist North Carolinians cope and build resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NCDHHS Hope4NC website shares specific steps that can be taken to improve and maintain mental wellbeing, and offers additional resources to help everyone cope during this stressful time.

S – Stay connected to family and friends. Social connections build resiliency.
C – Compassion for yourself and others. Self-compassion decreases trauma symptoms and stress.
O – Observe your use of substances. Early intervention can prevent problems.
O – Ok to ask for help. Struggling is normal. Asking for help is empowering.
P – Physical activity to improve your mood. Exercise boosts mood and lowers anxiety.

Includes flyer that could be printed and posted at workplaces or emailed to employees.

Learn more here.