CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – The Delta variant is now the blame for 83 percent of all COVID cases in the United States. The number has jumped up significantly in the last few weeks.
Local hospitals in the Charlotte area are also seeing a jump in cases.
Atrium and Novant hospitals said more people are coming to the hospital because of COVID, but it doesn’t at all compare to the major surge in January, and the age of patients is now much younger.
“Essentially, COVID is a preventable disease now,” Dr. David Priest with Novant Health said.
Novant Health is seeing younger patients in the hospital because of COVID-19. Earlier in the pandemic, the average age of people in the hospital was 61. Now, it’s 47.
“There’s an apathy in millennials or Gen Z where they don’t see it as a threat to them, they’re not particularly somebody who buys into anti-vax rhetoric, they just think, ‘I don’t really get what the big deal is, I don’t need to do it,’” Priest said.
Doctors said vaccinations are the way to slow the spread of the more contagious variants and prevent new variants from being created.
“The likelihood that you’re going to get COVID if you’re unvaccinated now is really just getting higher day by day,” Priest said.
They said the challenge continues to be convincing 25 to 50-year-olds to get the shot.
“You can have severe disease if you’re a child or young adult, and why take your chances but even more so, a lack of understanding of the importance that group plays in protecting the rest of our community that isn’t as lucky as they are to be healthy,” Dr. Kate Passaretti with Atrium Health said.
The State of North Carolina has now set up a new hotline for you to call if you can’t leave your home for health reasons and you want a COVID shot.
The new At-Home Vaccination Hotline, available by calling 1-866-303-0026, allows caregivers, providers and individuals across the state to schedule an at-home vaccination.