Recent COVID spike is not as severe as pandemic days, Atrium says

CHARLOTTE — The FDA is expected to approve the latest COVID-19 vaccine soon -- possibly early next week.

It comes as confirmed COVID cases are inching upward.

CDC director and former North Carolina health secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said it’s something we’re going to have to live with. She said people should stay up-to-date with COVID vaccines, improve indoor ventilation, get tested when appropriate, and stay at home when they’re sick.

Atrium Health’s Dr. Christopher Ohl echoed that sentiment Thursday. He said this recent spike is different from the ones we saw during the pandemic because they are not as severe.

“Because people see the case numbers up and they want to know why isn’t everyone masking again? Why aren’t we doing social distancing again?” he said. “And it’s because we don’t have to. It’s because as this virus gets more and more and more to be just the usual respiratory virus, what we have to do about it isn’t going to be as extreme.”

Meanwhile, Novant Health is asking emergency department employees to mask. They sent an email out Wednesday about an increase in COVID cases, mostly in that department, and are asking employees to mask in the emergency room.

(WATCH BELOW: North Carolina appeals court says bars’ challenges of governor’s COVID-19 restrictions can continue)