GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - With cases of COVID-19 trending downward across the state, many wonder where we stand in the fight against the virus.
For some, this news is a breath of fresh air, but as health professionals explain, we aren’t to the end of the battle just yet.
“There is good news with these decreasing test numbers,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Paul Cook, “but we’re not at the end of the line yet. In fact, I think we have a long way to go.”
While it may seem like COVID has been around forever, Pitt County Public Health Director Dr. John Silvernail reminds us that COVID is a brand new disease.
“We’ve only had two years to study and understand things,” said Silvernail. “I’m sure many of the early studies with time will prove to be partially true, but not completely true.”
Cook understands that some may be confused by the daily changes in guidelines for dealing with the virus. However, “If people have this idea that medical knowledge is static, that’s wrong,” he said.
It’s helpful to zoom out and look at the way COVID has infected Pitt County since the very start.
“You can see the biggest week in Omicron we were almost 5,000 cases for that week,” said Silvernail. “So, we’ve dropped off in case numbers, but we’re still above the height of the Delta wave and really the height of last January.”
While staying realistic, Silvernail still celebrates the victories that come along the way.
“We have not had a death in Pitt County below the age of 25, so that case fatality rate in the 0-17-year-old and 18-24 year old age group is zero percent,” he said.
That isn’t the case for all age ranges in the county.
146 Pitt County residents have died since the beginning of the pandemic.
Moving forward, medical professionals say vaccination, mask-wearing, and testing to slow the spread are essential to making it out of this pandemic.