COVID-19 Information

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Message from the ACC President

January 6, 2023

Dear College Community,

Dr. Algie Gatewood

Dr. Algie Gatewood

Welcome back and I trust that everyone had a healthy, reflective holiday break. The CDC has warned us that, with the gathering of families and friends over the past few weeks, there is a possibility that the convergence of COVID-19, influenza, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) could be strong this winter and put our health at risk. Please remain vigilant and I recommend you to “mask up” when warranted. All our campuses continue to offer free masks and hand sanitizer at table stations. And remember that home COVID rapid tests can be ordered via COVIDtests.gov

Now let’s look at where we stand on the COVID-19 situation this week.

North Carolina has recorded 3,359,798 COVID-19 cases from March 7, 2020 to January 4, 2023.

Alamance County – The County has reported 548 total deaths since the pandemic began, 390 positive cases over the last seven days, with 21 hospitalized over the same period. Due to the higher rate of positivity since the holidays, the health department has updated its statistics: 19% positivity over the past seven days. The community level remains at “Low” as of January 4.

North Carolina statistics for the Mpox virus are addressed in the second half of this update message.

ACC Campus – Since the beginning of January, our campus has seen 3 positive COVID cases, all vaccinated. The ABSS Early College returned to campus on January 3 and reports no cases.

To update our monthly numbers, here is a summary of positive COVID cases on our campus for 2022-2023 thus far:

  • January 2022: 163
  • February: 38
  • March: 6
  • April: 10
  • May: 28
  • June: 30
  • July: 12
  • August: 46
  • September: 40
  • October: 11
  • November: 21
  • December: 12
  • January 2023: 3

A Reminder of ACC Campus COVID Protocols:

Masking on campus continues to be optional, but you are encouraged to mask up, especially if you are around a large group of people. We continue to maintain five sanitation stations around our campus with hand sanitizers and free masks.

Temperature kiosk checkers are located at main entrances of all buildings with simple instructions. Self-administered home tests are free at the following locations on campus: Room A01, main building (Health Educator’s office); Information Desk, main entrance; Dillingham Center, front desk.

Social distance as much as possible, here on campus and in the community. This is a key factor in keeping yourself safe and healthy during this time.

ACC Safe App – perform your daily screening from convenience of your cell phone. If you do not have this app, go to the Public Safety page on our website where you can download it.

Symptoms of COVID-19

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms. Symptoms may appear two to fourteen days after exposure to the virus and include:
• Fever or chills
• Cough
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Fatigue
• Muscle or body aches
• Headache
• New loss of taste or smell
• Sore throat
• Congestion or runny nose
• Nausea or vomiting
• Diarrhea

Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19
Regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate from others. You should also isolate if you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results.

If You Test Positive for COVID-19

  • Complete ACC’s Self-Reporting Form and notify your instructors or supervisor.
  • Stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days.
  • Wear a high-quality mask if you must be around others at home and in public.
  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (like trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • It is important to also understand when to end isolation and when to stop wearing a mask.

COVID-19 Variants Detected in NC
A note here about the latest new subvariant, as reported by NBC News earlier this week:

The XBB.1.5 is a relative of the omicron XBB variant, which is a recombinant of the omicron BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75 subvariants. Combined, XBB and XBB.1.5 make up 44% of cases in the U.S., crowding out other versions of omicron.

  • Omicron BA.2 6 cases
  • BA.2.75 20 cases
  • BA.4 2 cases
  • BA.4.6 10 cases
  • BA.5 92 cases
  • BF.7 25 cases
  • BA.5.2.6 8 cases
  • BF.11 6 cases
  • BQ.1 74 cases
  • BQ.1.1 260 cases
  • XBB 16 cases
  • XBB1.5 15 cases
  • All Others 2 cases

Reminder about Additional Booster Shots
Boosters are available in North Carolina for people age 12 and older to protect against the latest COVID-19 variants.

COVID-19 vaccines are free to everyone, regardless of insurance or immigration status. People should get the updated COVID-19 booster two months after they finish their primary series or any booster dose.

MPOX (monkeypox)
Mpox numbers in our state and surrounding states have not changed dramatically since before our winter break. As of January 4, North Carolina had reported 697 cases of Mpox. Comparatively, the U.S. as a whole has reported 29,913 thus far. In the Southeast, Georgia has 1,984; South Carolina 226; and Virginia 564.

Stay positive. Test Negative. Show Compassion. 

Thanks,
Algie …

Dr. Algie C. Gatewood
President
Alamance Community College
336-506-4150
 

See previous messages from Dr. Gatewood here.


See the archived Health Alert information (from March 2020 to mid-2021) here.