By Nathan Ham
Cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant have started showing up in the United States, but so far, no positive cases of that variant have shown up in North Carolina.
The Omicron variant has been labeled as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) which means its transmissibility, severity and activity is being closely monitored. It is suspected this variant may be more transmissible given how quickly it has spread and become the dominant variant in South Africa.
Across the state, positive cases overall increased by 5% this past week and the number of deaths per 100,000 shot up over 146% this past week, according to data provided by AppHealthCare.
Currently, Watauga County has 75 active cases, Ashe County has 60 active cases and Alleghany County has 38 active cases. A total of 109 people have died in the three-county district.
There are 124 individuals currently in quarantine in Ashe County, 45 in Alleghany County and 28 in Watauga County.
According to AppHealthCare, 58% of Watauga County residents are fully or partially vaccinated.