Mecklenburg County set to end COVID-19 state of emergency on Aug. 15

Mecklenburg County declared a state of emergency in March 2020 and imposed restrictions and guidelines in Charlotte and other county communities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to update its COVID-19 guidance for schools as soon as this week.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 5:13 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 5:57 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Mecklenburg County leaders have decided to end the COVID-19 state of emergency, despite the county still considered at high risk for the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations fell slightly across North Carolina over the last week. There are currently 61 counties, including Mecklenburg, Cabarrus and Union counties, that are all considered at high risk.

Related: Mecklenburg County has reached the highest CDC COVID-19 Community Level

Mecklenburg County declared a state of emergency in March 2020 and imposed restrictions and guidelines in Charlotte and other county communities.

The county’s state of emergency will end on Aug. 15, the same day North Carolina’s state of emergency will end.

Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Dr. Raynard Washington briefed the county commissioners Wednesday night.

He said the seven-day average of cases in the county is about 353 per 100,000 residents, putting it in the high-risk category, while also noting Mecklenburg County is again trending downward.

More than 66% of those cases are due to the Omicron BA.5 subvariant, which is highly transmissible and, unlike previous variants, the reinfection rate is higher and more frequent, meaning people are getting the virus again within 30 days of the first positive test.

As schools get ready to start at the end of the month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to update its COVID-19 guidance for schools as soon as this week.

The CDC is set to ease quarantine recommendations for unvaccinated people exposed to the virus. Instead of staying home for five days, they can go out with a mask and test themselves at least five days after exposure.

Those with symptoms should continue to isolate.

The CDC is also planning to de-emphasize six feet of social distancing and regular testing in schools.

Officials are still encouraging school-age children to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which is free and widely available through the health department, clinics and at a pediatrician’s office.

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