Health Officials Warn Of Worst COVID Days To Come

CHARLOTTE, NC – State and county health officials warning that our worst days are still ahead of us during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“No matter where you live, work, worship, play, COVID-19 remains a deadly threat and we’ve got to treat it that way,” said Gov. Roy Cooper during a news conference.

He says 96 of the state’s 100 counties are experiencing critical levels of spread. The stay at home order has been extended to late January. Cooper also says there have been discussions about tighter restrictions.

“All options remain on the table,” said Cooper.

“The numbers in our community are not where they need to be, and our focus absolutely needs to continue to be on prevention and adhering to COVID precautions,” said Dr. Meg Sullivan with the Mecklenburg County Health Department.

In Mecklenburg, health officials worry there will be another spike after large gatherings and holiday travel.

County health director Dr. Gibbie Harris says they expect numbers to climb well into mid February.

“We think we’re just beginning to see the effects of the holiday and we expect those numbers to continue to go up,” said Harris.

Harris says local hospitals are at roughly 90 to 95 percent capacity.

“We continue to be assured by the hospital that they have the ability to surge if needed,” said Harris.

While there are no plans for a local field hospital, health officials warn that the arrival of the vaccine is not yet a saving grace.

“It is going to take a very long time and a lot of people that need to be vaccinated before we start seeing that impact,” said Sullivan.