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Cornelius News

So far, vaccines have not reached elderly residents in some N. Meck congregate living

County Health Director Gibbie Harris is at the bottom right. Mayor Pro Tem Jane Campbell moderates, center panel

Jan. 13. By Dave Yochum. During the Davidson Town Board meeting last night, Mecklenburg Public Health Director Gibbie Harris said COVID-19 vaccines have yet to make their way to the senior population in Davidson, including The Pines, a senior living complex.

A shortage of vaccines is to blame. “We need more vaccines in Mecklenburg,” she said. “There is not enough.” She said the current rate of vaccinations is ineffective: Unless the rate ramps up dramatically, “we’re going to be five years before getting everyone vaccinated,” Harris said.

Vaccinations: NC ranked No. 42

According to the Centers for Disease Control, North Carolina ranks 42nd out of 50 states and Washington D.C. in first doses of vaccine administered per 100,000 people.

Mecklenburg has gone from an average of 100 cases per day in September, to an average of 900 cases per day in mid-January, Harris said.

Mayor Pro Tem Jane Campbell, who pointed out that 14 percent of Davidson’s population is over 65 years old, said residents are standing by to help get the vaccine to the most at-risk populations.

That said, the county has fewer than 2,000 doses—1,950 to be exact—to last until Tuesday next week.

New deaths at Huntersville Health

According to the NC Dept. of Health & Human Services’ Jan. 12 report, there have been four recent deaths at Huntersville Health & Rehab, a nursing home in Huntersville and none at AutumnCare in Cornelius and The Pines.

—Josh Wood at AutumnCare in Cornelius reported they had received 130 vaccines on Thursday last week.

Time to go virtual

Harris issued a specific directive for the next three weeks, that calls for Mecklenburg residents to stay at home except for essential activities, utilize virtual options for work and school and avoid any non-essential travel.

“We need three weeks to get our numbers down,” Harris said.

CMS may backtrack

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, meanwhile, will hold an emergency board meeting tomorrow to reconsider the district’s plan to return on Jan. 19 to in-person instruction, officials said in a press release at 10 am today.

Although county officials said the health department directive is not a mandate, Harris said the exponential growth in the number of COVID- 19 cases, hospitalizations and related deaths “require immediate action.”

Key elements of the Mecklenburg County Health directive:

—Only leave your home for essential activities and remain at home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless an exception as set forth in the Governor’s Executive Order applies.

—Utilize full-virtual options for work, school and any other activity where in-person activity is not required.

—Avoid leaving your home if you are over 65 or at high-risk for developing serious illness.

—Avoid any non-essential travel.

—Avoid gathering with individuals that you do not live with.

—WEAR, a cloth face covering, WAIT 6 feet apart and avoid close contact, and WASH your hands often or use hand sanitizer.

—Quarantine and get tested if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19.

—Get a flu shot as well as the COVID-19 vaccine, when it is available to you.

According to Harris, there has been a 543 percent increase in the number of people hospitalized in Mecklenburg County since September.