Dr. Matt Ewend shares updates on COVID-19 spread, safety tips and additional resources.
Dear UNC School of Medicine and UNC Health teammates,
In the past two weeks, UNC Health and North Carolina have seen significant increases in the community transmission of COVID-19 due to the Delta variant. We are also seeing an increase in the number of hospitalized COVID patients (see our COVID-19 Dashboard) and increases in the number of flu cases across the state.
During the holiday season, and as we spend more time indoors due to shorter days and colder temperatures, I urge you to wear your mask, practice physical distancing, get your vaccine (and booster dose!) and wash your hands frequently.
It’s important that we model these behaviors for our patients, friends and communities. Even if you don’t provide direct patient care, you can still Lead the Way and help keep others safe. Our experts continue to speak with the media regularly to share the latest COVID and Omicron information – view a few recent clips from WRAL and CBS-17 (both featuring Dr. David Wohl) and from WRAL (featuring Dr. Dirk Dittmer). Feel free to share these updates with your loved ones.
A few, key brief updates for this week include:
- Omicron Variant Updates
Our experts continue to review all available information on the new Omicron variant of the COVID virus and we will share any new information with you as it is confirmed. As of Dec. 8, the Omicron variant has not been detected in North Carolina, though we expect to see it soon. Learn more about UNC Health’s approach to the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
- Monoclonal Antibodies Are Now Available for Children Under Age 12
Monoclonal antibodies are very effective at reducing the risk of severe disease and hospitalization from COVID-19, and UNC Health has provided monoclonal antibodies to more than 12,600 patients across North Carolina. The FDA recently authorized monoclonal antibodies to treat children under the age of 12 who test positive for COVID-19, experience mild to moderate symptoms, and are at high risk of developing serious disease.
If there is any chance you or your loved ones have contracted COVID, we urge you to talk with your doctor immediately about whether you/they should receive monoclonal antibody treatment to help prevent hospitalization or serious illness. Monoclonal antibodies are for outpatients, not for severely ill COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized because of the virus. Learn more about monoclonal antibodies in this UNC Health Talk article.
Send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will continue to share updates with you as the situation continues to develop. In the meantime, thank you for the incredible care you provide for our patients each day.
Dr. Matt Ewend
Chief Clinical Officer, UNC Health
President, UNC Physicians