Health officials in North Carolina are gearing up for record covid numbers thanks to the Omicron variant which is spreading rapidly across the nation. In a briefing yesterday, Monday, Governor Roy Cooper encouraged North Carolinians to get tested ahead of the holidays. Dr. Mandy Cohen, Health Secretary, also spoke to the media. She said that the new variant is 4x worse than the initial Covid virus. She encouraged residents to get a booster if they have already been vaccinated and to get the vaccine if they haven’t already.
“Testing before you gather can help slow the spread of Omicron,” incoming Health Secretary Kody Kinsey said. “And if you test positive, quickly seeking out treatment can help reduce the risk of severe disease.”
Cooper has previously said that if the positivity rate drops below 5% the mask mandates will be removed. Last week that rate was 8.7% and this week it is 7.9%. With Omicron, a more contagious but potentially less severe variant, that rate is expected to climb in the coming weeks. Officials are predicting that the highly contagious nature of Omicron and the holidays that North Carolina will see record covid numbers. Omicron was first discovered in a UNC Charlotte student who had traveled out of town for Thanksgiving. It’s now the dominant strain across the nation though not yet in NC.
Stay safe out there. If you need Covid testing over the holidays StarMed’s west Charlotte location will be open on Christmas Day.