Log in Newsletter

Health director: 'Get a booster shot'

Dr. Jennifer Green encourages vaccines, boosters to fight COVID variant


With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing in Cumberland County over the past week, the county health director on Monday encouraged those in the community to get vaccinated and get their booster shots.

Dr. Jennifer Green, the public health director, discussed the county’s COVID cases with members of the county Board of Commissioners at their meeting Monday morning.

Green said that for the week ending Dec. 30, there were more than 13,000 cases reported for Cumberland County. 

“Our case positivity rate is at 19.2 percent, and we want that number to be closer to 5 percent,” she said. “Those two metrics together put us in the category of high transmission, and we have had 511 community members die due to COVID.’’ 

Green said about 60 percent of Cumberland County residents are fully vaccinated.

She also discussed the latest Omicron variant, saying initial data indicates it spreads more easily than previous variants.

“In our previous variants, if you are infected, you might infect one or two others. But early data suggests you might infect six people, so it’s much more contagious than previous variants,” she said.

She said early studies out of the UK and South Africa indicate the booster shot helps with the body’s immunity.

“Critical key point, everybody that is eligible to do so, to get a booster shot,” Green said.

Green also reviewed the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding isolation and quarantine protocols. The CDC recently updated its guidance, recommending that isolation and quarantine times be shortened for people who test positive from COVID-19 and the quarantine guidance for people exposed to COVID-19.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should isolate and stay home for at least five days. For those who have no symptoms, or if the symptoms are resolving after five days, they may leave their home but only if they continuously wear a mask around others. 

For those who are exposed to someone with COVID-19:

  • Those who are not vaccinated or who are partially vaccinated should quarantine for five days and test on day five. Those who test negative or who still do not have any symptoms may return to normal activities. They should continue to wear a mask for an additional five days.
  • Those who are fully vaccinated and are eligible for the booster but have not received it also should stay home for five days and test on day five. They also should wear a mask for an additional five days. 
  • Those who are fully vaccinated and boosted, or who are fully vaccinated but not yet able to receive the booster, do not have to quarantine. They may resume normal activities but should wear a mask for 10 days. 

Testing and vaccinations are available Monday through Friday at the Health Department, which is at 1235 Ramsey St. The department also has rapid at-home and PCR at-home test kits available.  

In other business, the board unanimously approved a new contract for security services for the Department of Social Services and the Spring Lake Family Resource Center. The contract with North State Security begins Tuesday and runs through June 30. The new contract will not exceed $106,075.

Keyona Smith covers Cumberland County government for CityView TODAY. She can be reached at keyonasmith10@yahoo.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.


Cumberland County, Dr. Jennifer Green, COVID-19, Board of Commissioners, booster shots