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State preps for flu season; local COVID-19 update

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging North Carolinians to get vaccinated against influenza as the state enters flu season.

“COVID-19 is still here, still sending North Carolinians to the hospital with severe illness and still causing deaths. As flu season begins, we all need to do what we can to be as healthy as possible,” said Dr. Elizabeth Tilson, NCDHHS State Health Director and Chief Medical Officer.  “It is critically important to get your flu vaccine and your COVID-19 vaccine. Flu can be a serious and sometimes deadly disease. Getting vaccinated can prevent you from getting ill and keep you from needing a hospital bed.”

The CDC recommends flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older.

“Flu vaccinations are available at hospitals, pharmacies, private medical offices, some federally qualified health care centers and local health departments,” an NCDHHS release reads. “COVID-19 vaccines may now be administered at the same time as other vaccines, including the flu vaccine, for those who need both.”

Because COVID-19 and flu symptoms are similar, the NCDHHS advises individuals who are feeling sick to call ahead before going to the doctor’s office, health department or urgent care, and consulting with a doctor to see if they should get tested for the flu and/or COVID.

COVID-19 stats at a glance

Beaufort County’s seven-day average COVID-19 case count was 51.7 as of Tuesday afternoon. Health officials knew of 725 active cases among county residents; of those, 17 were hospitalized and five were on a ventilator.

The county’s COVID-19 death toll is 109.

As of Tuesday, just more than half of the county’s total population and 61% of its adult population had been at least partially vaccinated. Almost 26% of the population ages 12-17 had been partially vaccinated.

From June 1, 2021 to Sept. 13, unvaccinated individuals accounted for 90% of the COVID-19 cases in Beaufort County.