Health expert warns that eased COVID-19 mandates should come with caution
NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - As COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases drop, some states are easing up their mandates.
Craven County resident Lee Edick feels more comfortable going out in public now as COVID-19 numbers trend in the right direction.
“We’re getting out of that deep hole that we were in, and we’re getting better to get back where we should be,” Edick said.
Experts attribute masks, vaccinations, and immunities to the halting of the spread of the virus.
“We’re resilient now, we’re learning that this is still an issue, but we have the tools and resources on how to be educated and get vaccinated,” Caroline DeFreitas, a visitor in New Bern said.
The positive trend is evident at CarolinaEast Medical Center, where the most recent surge in cases passed three weeks ago, when 67 people were in the hospital. As of Monday, that number is 18.
“There are fewer patients in the hospital, and it seems as though this variant is about to go away hopefully,” Jim Davis, CarolinaEast nursing vice president said.
Fewer cases and hospitalizations worldwide signaled California Gov. Gavin Newsom to announce the state’s shift to “endemic,” which the CDC defines as “the constant presence and/or usual prevalence of a disease or infectious agent in a population within a geographic area.”
Davis can see what COVID-19 being endemic to our country would look like.
“It’s not going away, but I think coming to a point where we learn to live with the presence of COVID in our community.”
As North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper gives schools and local governments the green-light to lift mask mandates, Davis reminds people not to get too comfortable.
As both community members and hospital staff agree, a little relief is long overdue.
“It has been a long two years, but it does feel like we’re in a better place right now,” Davis said.
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