GREENSBORO, N.C. — It's a new year but COVID-19 is still very prevalent in our community. In today's 2 Your Well-Being, what the numbers look like as we start the New Year, and what to expect in the coming weeks and months ahead.
Dr. Cynthia Snider is Cone Health's infection prevention medical director. She said the numbers continue to steadily rise. Cone Health is treating about 264 patients for COVID-19. Dr. Snider said that number could climb as high as 400 before the month is over. For context, at the beginning of December, Cone Health was treating 200 patients.
Dr. Snider said they still have enough resources, but as numbers increase it puts a strain on the hospital system. They're trying to alleviate that demand by offering other therapies for COVID-19 patients that prevent hospitalization or that can be done on an out-patient basis.
When it comes to the vaccine, Dr. Snider said they hope to start phase 1B next week or earlier. There are not enough vaccines for everyone in this phase to be vaccinated at the same time, so they'll be available in groups. The first group is anyone older than 75, regardless of health status or living situation. Group 2 will be health care workers and frontline essential workers older than 50. That includes grocery store workers and those who work in the education sector. Group 3 is Health care workers and frontline essential workers of any age.
When it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19, it's still best to wear a mask, wash your hands, and social distance even after you get the vaccine.