As everyone knows, State of North Carolina health officials want everyone in the state eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination to hurry up and get one. 

In an attempt to make that case yet again, on Tuesday, Oct. 19, state officials put out a press release announcing the positive effect of vaccinations at long-term care facilities in the state.

The new data showed that, with more than 80 percent of residents fully vaccinated, cases, hospitalizations and deaths in long-term care facilities were down a great deal during the Delta-variant surge compared to the previous winter surge.

“As COVID-19 cases surged this summer fueled by the Delta variant,” the release reads, “hospitalizations and deaths among residents in North Carolina long-term care facilities were significantly lower than during the winter surge, as shown in data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). The decrease in cases and severe illness can be attributed to vaccination for residents and staff of long-term care facilities and to the work done by long-term care providers to implement measures to protect staff and residents from COVID-19.”

According to the data presented by the state, while COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities increased during July through September of this year, average weekly cases in those facilities decreased by 89 percent, hospitalizations decreased by 93 percent and deaths decreased by 95 percent when compared to November and December of 2020 – a time at which most long-term care residents had yet to be vaccinated.

Last week, the state’s long-term care facilities hit an 80 percent average for being fully vaccinated

State officials note that, with four out of five people in these facilities vaccinated, outbreaks are smaller in size and bring fewer deaths when compared to any other time during the pandemic.

The state releases summary case counts for long-term care facilities in its weekly “Outbreaks and Clusters Report.”

NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen used the news to once again encourage everyone to get the shot.

“This data from our long-term care facilities is more evidence that vaccines save lives,” Cohen stated this week.  “Don’t wait until it’s too late. Get vaccinated to protect against COVID-19 and help your friends and loved ones to do the same.”