The highly contagious Delta variant is leading to an uptick in COVID-19 cases in several U.S. states, including North Carolina. FirstHealth is also dealing with a dramatic increase in hospitalizations in recent days. Data below includes all four FirstHealth hospitals.
Hospitalized COVID patients are from numerous North Carolina counties, including Moore, Richmond, Cumberland, Hoke, Lee, Robeson, Montgomery, Scotland, Randolph, Harnett, Chatham and Johnston counties. Some patients are from outside North Carolina.
% Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19
Data last updated: Oct. 15, 2021 at 10:11 a.m.
Below you will find information about how to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and what to expect when you visit a FirstHealth hospital or clinic. Vaccines are key in preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and death from COVID-19.
One local 32-year-old is sharing her story and encouraging everyone to get vaccinated after suffering from COVID-19 symptoms for several months after testing positive. FirstHealth Psychiatrist Dr. Meredith Stanton shares some tips for preparing for the return to school and an uptick in COVID-related stress.
- COVID-19 Vaccines
- COVID-19 Booster Shots
- COVID-19 Testing
- Monoclonal Antibody Treatment
- Visitor Restrictions
- Tips for Staying Healthy
- Caring For You in New Ways
- Additional Resources
Anyone 18 and older is eligible to be vaccinated, and those 12 and older can be scheduled to receive a Pfizer vaccine by their parent or legal guardian.
FirstHealth is offering COVID-19 vaccines at several of its primary care and occupational health clinics across our service area. Appointments are required. Please call (910) 715-7468 to schedule an appointment at one of our clinics. Several counties within the FirstHealth service area also continue to offer vaccinations. Please check availability from health departments in your area. In Moore County, call (910) 947-7468. In Richmond County, call (910) 417-4909.
Great care has been taken to ensure that the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration fully approved Pfizer's two-dose vaccine on Aug. 23, saying "the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standard for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product."
The Moderna two-dose and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are also available under an emergency use authorization from the FDA. The federal government has pledged to cover the cost of COVID-19 vaccines. Depending on your insurance plan and where you receive a vaccine, administrative fees may be billed to your insurance company, but there will be no out-of-pocket costs for you.
Pfizer-BioNtech boosters are available to people who have been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for six months or more and who are:
- 65 years or older
- Residents in long-term care,
- 18 years or older with underlying medical conditions
- 18-64 years and work in high-risk settings like healthcare workers, teachers and childcare providers or food workers
In addition, moderately to severely immunocompromised people are recommended to receive an additional dose of the same brand of vaccine at least 28 days after they’ve completed their initial two-dose series to help increase the body’s immune response.
*Tests completed represents total number of tests completed to include some retests
*Positives are unique positive results
Data last updated: Oct. 15, 2021 at 10:11 a.m.
FirstHealth of the Carolinas COVID-19 testing costs $110.00 to $150.00 depending on the type of test, before insurance or financial assistance discounts are applied. If you have health insurance, you will likely pay nothing, as most insurance companies are fully covering the cost of testing. If you don’t have insurance, please visit our Financial Assistance Program section of the website. Doctor visits and other services outside of the test, including convenient care and emergency room visits, are billed separately as any other medical services at FirstHealth of the Carolinas.
Monoclonal Antibodies for Treatment of COVID-19
While vaccines provide the best protection from COVID-19, treatment options such as monoclonal antibodies are available at FirstHealth. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19, you may be eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment. If taken early, they can reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death.
FirstHealth offers monoclonal antibodies treatment in Pinehurst, Rockingham and Troy. Talk to your doctor to see if you qualify for this treatment. For a listing of monoclonal antibodies treatment locations, visit https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/FindTreatment.
Ways we are keeping you safe
FirstHealth has always been committed to providing exceptional care, and that remains true during this pandemic. Throughout our system, we have implemented robust procedures for ensuring your health and safety. Masks are required at all FirstHealth facilities and clinics, and visitor restrictions remain in place at our hospitals. They include the following:
- Hospital Inpatient, Surgery and ICU patients — One healthy adult support person.*
- Hospital Outpatient (for example, lab testing, imaging or cardiology testing at a FirstHealth hospital) — One healthy adult support person.*
- Emergency Department — No visitors except for pediatric patients and special needs patients, who are each allowed one healthy adult support person.
- Women & Children’s — One healthy adult support person for laboring and obstetric patients for the duration of their stay.
- All FirstHealth Clinics — No visitors. One healthy adult support person is allowed for minors or under special circumstances determined by the care team.
- No visitors under the age of 18 are allowed.
- No visitation is allowed for COVID-19 positive patients or patients who are under investigation, except during end-of-life situations.
*We ask that only one visitor per patient enter the building at a time.
Additional Women and Children's visitation guidelines:
- Triage patients may have one visitor at the bedside until a more permanent inpatient room is available or indicated.
- The family waiting area is reserved for support persons during Epidural placement.
- Visitors may switch with other visitors with only one visitor in the building per patient.
- Visitation ends at 8:30 p.m. This is especially important for the Mother/Baby unit to promote rest & bonding.
- NICU visitation guidelines remain in place. Parents or individuals who have a patient/infant identification band are allowed to visit. We will notify patients if restrictions are lifted to allow grandparents in the future.
tips for staying healthy
There are many ways you can lower your risk of contracting COVID-19.
FirstHealth encourages those who are not vaccinated to continue following the 3 Ws: Wear a mask when you are in public or social distancing is difficult, wash your hands frequently and wait 6 feet apart from those who live outside your home.
Other ways to stay safe: Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, avoid close contact with people who are ill and stay home from work or school if you are sick and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
Be on the lookout for COVID-19 symptoms, which include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.
caring for you in new ways
FirstHealth has dramatically increased access to virtual care options since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Our Primary Care and Convenient Care clinics are offering video, phone or curbside visits, and the FirstHealth On the Go app allows you to meet with a doctor anytime, anywhere on your smartphone. If you need in-person care for severe symptoms, call before visiting your Primary Care provider, a Convenient Care clinic or a FirstHealth emergency department. This will assist health care providers to take steps to get you the appropriate care you need while keeping others safe.
- Back to School Tips from FirstHealth Psychiatrist Dr. Meredith Stanton
- Physician: COVID Vaccines Work and My Experience is Proof
- 'I Was Always Careful:' COVID Long-Hauler Still Remembers Severe Symptoms, Recommends Vaccination
- What if I've already had COVID-19?
- Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccines
- Infectious Diseases Expert Weighs in on COVID-19 Vaccine
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- North Carolina Division of Public Health