Home Local News More than 70 new COVID cases, additional death reported in Richmond County

More than 70 new COVID cases, additional death reported in Richmond County

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ROCKINGHAM — The daily number of COVID cases in Richmond County has dropped below 100 for the third time this week.

The Richmond County Health Department on Friday reported 74 new positive test results. 

Tuesday and Wednesday each saw fewer than 55 new cases.

The county has recorded 11,464 cases since the first was reported in April of 2020. Nearly 30% of those have been since the Dec. 30 report.

It is not known how many of the roughly 3,400 people who have tested positive within the past month were vaccinated or how many have been previously diagnosed with the coronavirus. The number of active cases is also unknown.

Even with lower numbers, the county’s positivity rate rose to 36%, which is higher than the state’s average, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, of 30.4%.

Richmond County Schools reported on its COVID Tracker a total of 13 new cases across the 15-school district Friday. That number includes:

  • Four student cases at Washington Street Elementary
  • Two student cases at Hamlet Middle
  • One student case each at East Rockingham, L.J. Bell, Mineral Springs Elementary; Cordova Middle; Ninth Grade Academy
  • One staff case each at Fairview Heights Elementary; Ninth Grade Academy

Since the school year began in August, 1,234 students and 284 staff members have tested positive. Of those, 674 have been since Jan. 6.

Richmond Senior tops both lists in the number of cases.

Uncommon for a Friday, statewide cases dipped by more than 6,000 to 22,631, according to NCDHHS. Cases traditionally climb until Saturday before dropping back down early the next week.

North Carolina has had only four days this month with fewer than 17,000 cases, amid the Omicron surge, which saw daily totals in the state set new records.

Thursday was only the second time in the past three weeks where a new record wasn’t set for statewide COVID hospitalizations, with NCDDHS reporting 5,084 — 117 fewer than the previous day.

FirstHealth reported that 119 of its 415 patients (28.7%) were COVID positive. On Thursday, the Health Department reported that 21 residents were in a hospital.

The Health Department also reported another COVID-related death, bringing the pandemic total to 174. That makes the sith death reported this week.

No statistics are available since the Health Department stopped sending press releases on deaths earlier this month.

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Richmond County has seen 15 COVID-related deaths this month. As a comparison, there were 23 reported each in January and August of 2021. 

North Carolina’s COVID-related death total is now at 20,595.

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.

Both sites will be closed Jan. 29 due to another weekend of winter weather, the Health Department announced Friday.

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.

According to NCDHHS, 20,977 Richmond County residents (47%) are considered fully vaccinated and 8,392 have received booster shots.

 

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