GREENSBORO, N.C. — North Carolina, along with the rest of the United States, has seen COVID-19 case and hospitalization records set over the past few weeks. Recently, we've seen those trends start to improve.
To assess the state of the pandemic, we spoke with Dr. Carolyn Harraway-Smith, Cone Health's Chief Medical Officer for Women's Services.
Cone Health's dashboard shows as of midnight Monday, 202 COVID-19 patients were being treated by the hospital system.
Harraway-Smith said about 70% of those patients are not fully vaccinated.
Harraway-Smith compared the pandemic to a war. She said if an army is not prepared, they will lose the war. Harraway-Smith said vaccines are our bodies' way of preparing.
She said getting vaccinated helps your body in case it gets infected with COVID-19. That's why the overwhelmingly majority of breakthrough cases are mild.
Harraway-Smith said people still remain confused about the purpose of the vaccine. The chief medical officer said the vaccine's job is to prevent serious illness and death, not stop all COVID-19 infections. She said the vaccines all have proven highly effective at doing that.
Cone Health has several COVID-19 vaccine clinics. You can sign up for a free, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine here.
Harraway-Smith said we're starting to see a decrease of hospitalizations across the region and said that doesn't mean people should start letting their guards down.
She said people have stopped following safety practices at other times when cases go down, which causes another increase in cases.
Harraway-Smith said decreasing cases shows prevention strategies are working, and people should continue doing them.