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COVID cases slowing down in Richmond County

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ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County’s rate of positive COVID cases dropped by 9% to start off the second month of the year.

The Richmond County Health Department reported only 33 new cases on Tuesday, with a positivity rate of 26%.

The rate is down from 35%, where it remained throughout the second half of January and brings it below the state’s rate of 29.8%, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

The county saw 3,726 residents test positive from Dec. 31-Jan. 31, according to Health Department records.

County Manager Bryan Land told the Richmond County Board of Commissioners Tuesday evening that more than 700 people were tested by the Health Department last week — which was a “considerable decrease” from the 1,700 per week earlier in the month.

Richmond County Schools reported 14 new cases Tuesday on its COVID Tracker.

Of those, 12 were student-related cases in seven of the district’s 15 schools:

  • 4 – East Rockingham Elementary
  • 2 – L.J. Bell, Mineral Springs Elementary
  • 1 – Fairview Heights, Washington Street Elementary; Cordova Middle; Richmond Senior High

There were also two staff related cases: one each at L.J. Bell Elementary and Hamlet Middle.

According to the COVID Tracker, there have been 1,282 student cases and 295 staff cases so far this school year, more than half of which were reported in January.

Although the statewide daily total rose slightly from the day before to 8,757, it was still lower than all but one day in January when only 11 days had fewer than 20,000 cases.

COVID-related hospitalizations also continue to decline with NCDHHS reporting 4,786 on Monday after peaking at a record high of 5,206 on Jan. 26.

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According to FirstHealth, 102 of its 405 patients (25.2%) were COVID-positive on Tuesday. That number was down from 107 on Monday.

The federal government recently started taking orders for at-home kits at covidtests.gov. Each family is eligible for four free kits.

Free drive-thru COVID testing is available Monday-Friday behind the Health Department from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and the parking lot of Cole Auditorium in Hamlet from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., as well as from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays at both locations.

Vaccines and boosters are available for those who want them at the Health Department from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8-11 a.m. on Fridays.

Vaccines have been authorized for adults and children as young as 5 years old.

Health Director Cheryl Speight said Tuesday that N-95 masks are now available at the Health Department.

According to NCDHHS, 21,024 Richmond County residents (47%) are considered fully vaccinated and 8,450 have received booster shots.

 

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