Spike in COVID cases

Published 11:51 am Tuesday, January 4, 2022

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Polk adds 73 positive cases last week

POLK COUNTY—After spending several weeks with low amounts of new positive COVID-19 cases, Polk County saw a spike following the Christmas holiday. 

The Polk County Department of Health and Human Services released its weekly COVID dashboard last Friday with 73 new cases last week. 

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Polk County has now had a total of 2,537 cases of the virus since March 2020. 

Last week’s percent positive rate was 5.1 percent. 

The county did not release a dashboard the week prior because of the Christmas holiday. 

The Polk County School Board has agreed to allow masks at school to be optional when the county’s percent positive rate is less than 5 percent for 2 consecutive weeks, which has not yet happened. 

The county has had 49 deaths and 100 hospitalizations from the virus, according to Friday’s figures. 

The county’s percent of its population that is vaccinated remains at 43 percent as of last week. 

As of Friday, 9,303 Polk County residents had at least 1 dose of the vaccine and 8,834 Polk County residents are fully vaccinated, according to the county’s latest data. 

Polk County’s positive cases overall have been mostly in females at 53.7 percent last week. 

Most of the county’s cases have been in people age 25-49, followed by people age 50-64; people age 0-17 and people age 65-74. The least cases have been in people age 75 and above and 18-24. 

Vaccines are free for anyone and are now being administered to everyone age 12 and older in North Carolina. 

Booster shots are now also available to most people. 

To schedule an appointment with the county people can call the Polk County COVID message line at 828-722-5086. More information is also available on a special COVID-19 tab located at polknc.org. 

Local pharmacies are also now giving vaccines for the virus as well as for flu and pneumonia. 

Vaccinations and testing are being done at 40 Ward St., Columbus on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Vaccinations are from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and testing is done from 2-6 p.m. The testing and vaccinations are provided by Optum Health, are free and no appointment is necessary.