Post Date:11/20/2020 3:24 PM
Chapel Hill Community,
As we head into Thanksgiving week, I wanted to reach out to share some updates. Earlier this week, Governor Roy Cooper and Secretary Mandy Cohen announced a new COVID-19 County Alert System report which will help all of us know how we are faring. The report uses a color-coded system of yellow (“significant”), orange (“substantial”) and red (“critical”) to help local officials and the public make decisions.
All of our public health agencies, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NC DHHS, and Orange County Health Department have issued new guidance about the holidays, asking everyone to stick to their households.
Currently, Orange County falls into the yellow (“significant”) category based on the fact that we have seen a rising number of new cases (117 to 203), a rising percentage of positive test results (3.2% to 3.8%) and hospitalizations are hovering between 165 and 180. While we are not currently at the higher levels, these rising trends are concerning. So, to keep our community safe, we are asking everyone to take the following precautions in the coming weeks:
Think differently about Thanksgiving and gather only with those in your household
Practice the three Ws if you do need to go out
Wear a mask and socially distance when indoors if you are with someone who is not a member of your household
Get tested and follow quarantine guidance if you think you may have been exposed to the virus
I know that COVID-19 is taking a tremendous toll on many in our community, and I want to provide everyone with a link to our Community Resource page, which has information on how people can give or receive help.
Additionally, over the past eight months, our local businesses have worked hard to adapt their business models to include safety measures such as required masking and contactless pickup. Local businesses are vitally important to our community, and most of them have been hit hard by the pandemic, too. So, when doing your shopping, please buy local! Finally, I want to say thank you for your hard work this year and to encourage you to keep it up during the holidays. News about potential approvals of vaccines is exciting, but the roll out will take time. As we wait, it remains important to wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart, wash hands, and stay away from gatherings. By doing these things together, we will keep our community and our healthcare systems safe.
To stay up-to-date on county trends or for information on where to access free daily COVID-19 testing in our area, please visit the Orange County Health Department Coronavirus webpage.
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving.
Mayor Pam Hemminger