DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Alfreda Clegg had a shopping cart full of everything Friday night.
"I'm here shopping for kids and family and Secret Santa gifts," said Clegg outside the Target near Southpoint Mall. "I did pick up a few things for myself too."
The Durham resident said she is gathering with friends and family in Mebane and Burlington and isn't concerned about a sharp increase in flu levels right now.
Flu levels are especially increasing in the south according to Dr. Mandy Cohen, CDC director, and former North Carolina Health Secretary
"When we were at the beginning of the pandemic yes we were very worried but we've taken our vaccinations and are ready to go," she said.
Hospitals are also ready to go despite the feeling that everyone is on holiday break.
"I would argue it's a little easier for us because we are not offering the broad range of services that UNC main or UNC Rex main healthcare offer," said Roy Tempke, chief operating officer for UNC Rex Holly Springs. "In healthcare, there's always an additional obligation no matter what job you are doing. We are taking care of people and that does underpin all of this."
He said they schedule way ahead of time for this time of year to ensure team members have time to recuperate but they have staffing requirements to meet.
UNC Health said all of their hospitals have seen an uptick in people coming in with respiratory illnesses.
"I really didn't stop working during COVID so I didn't quarantine as much," said Jacob Boss.
Boss is headed back to Florida but was doing some last-minute shopping with his girlfriend Logan and her siblings.
The CDC also issued an advisory in the last week saying low vaccination rates against COVID-19, flu, and RSV could lead to more severe and increased strain on hospitals in the coming weeks.