Pittsboro, NC – With more than 45% of Chatham’s population now at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19, the Chatham County Public Health Department is calling on all residents ages 16 and older to roll up their sleeves, noting that demand for the vaccine has lagged in recent weeks.
According to data from the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), 33,891 Chatham residents have received at least one dose, accounting for 45.5% of the county’s population, as of April 28th. While this is an increase from the 41% with at least one dose as of April 15 and 38% as of April 6, vaccination appointments are becoming more and more difficult to fill. Overall, 37.4% are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. For more on Chatham vaccination data, visit https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard/vaccinations.
“We have come so far in our fight against COVID-19, but we are just not there yet in terms of vaccination rates,” said Chatham County Public Health Director Mike Zelek. “There are plenty of options to get vaccinated in Chatham County. I have heard from many of these providers that they are having trouble filling their appointment slots. If we are going to beat this and relax measures June 1st as the Governor has set forth, we need those who have not yet gotten vaccinated to roll up their sleeves.”
All Chatham County residents ages 16 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and have a variety of means to receive their shot in Chatham County. For locations in and around Chatham County to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including the type of vaccine they offer, visit myspot.nc.gov .
The department will begin taking first- and second-dose vaccine appointments for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at its Siler City clinic on Fridays beginning May 7. To make an appointment, call 919-742-5641. Walk-ins will also be welcome.
StarMed Healthcare continues to operate COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center in Pittsboro. Beginning this Friday, StarMed will provide Pfizer first doses at the Ag Center on Fridays and Saturdays from 2 PM to 6 PM. To pre-register, visit starmed.care or call (980) 445-9818. Walk-ins are also accepted.
CDC: Fully Vaccinated People Don’t Need to Wear a Mask Outdoors, Unless in Crowded Space
On Tuesday, April 27th, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) released new guidance around the use of face coverings to prevent spread of COVID-19. The new guidance says that “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues.” This follows prior guidance that says it is safe for fully vaccinated people – those who have received the full dosage (one for Johnson & Johnson, two for Moderna and Pfizer) at least two weeks ago – to gather with others in small groups indoors without wearing a mask. Individuals can read more about the CDC’s recommendations for fully-vaccinated individuals here.
It continues to be important to practice the 3 Ws – which also include washing your hands regularly and waiting six feet apart from others in public and especially indoors – to limit the spread of COVID-19. Other recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals from the CDC include:
* Wear masks that fit snuggly when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
* Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
* Avoid large indoor gatherings
Gov. Cooper: Mask Mandate Will Be Lifted When 2/3rds of Adults Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19
On Wednesday, April 28, Gov. Roy Cooper said during a press conference that North Carolina will lift the mask mandate when two-thirds of North Carolinian adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Additionally, Gov. Cooper signed Executive Order No. 209, further lifting of pandemic-related restrictions will go into effect on Friday, April 30, including expanding the mass gathering limits and removing the mandate to wear masks outside in public places. Changes include, but not limited to:
* No capacity limits at museums, personal care businesses, retail businesses and outdoor spaces of restaurants, fitness and physical activity facilities and pools.
* 75% capacity limit for indoor spaces of restaurants, fitness and physical activity facilities and pools.
* 50% capacity limit for indoor areas of movie theaters, indoor and outdoor areas of bars, meeting space and conference centers, and other indoor and outdoor venues and arenas.
Gov. Cooper added that the state anticipates lifting more restrictions on June 1 as more North Carolinians get vaccinated. To see the full Executive Order No. 209, visit this link.
To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and the CCPHD’s vaccination plans, visit chathamcountync.gov/coronavirusvaccine . To learn more about the Chatham County Public Health Department, visit .chathamcountync.gov/publichealth or facebook.com/chathamhealth .