ROCKINGHAM — Despite two COVID testing sites being closed due to weather, nearly 400 residents tested positive over the weekend and two more have died.
The Richmond County Health Department on Monday reported that the total number of cases since April of 2020 has risen to 11,185, meaning that there have been 399 new positive test results since Friday.
According to Health Department records, there have been 3,223 positive results since the Dec. 30 report.
The percent-positive rate in the county has climbed to 36%, which is still lower than the statewide average of 37.8%, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
Although classes have been canceled since Friday, Richmond County Schools updated its COVID Tracker on Monday to show more than 60 new cases.
Of those, there were 44 student cases in all but four of the 15 schools in the district:
- 13 – Rockingham Middle
- 7 – West Rockingham Elementary
- 4 – Richmond Senior High
- 3 – East Rockingham, L.J. Bell Elementary; Cordova Middle; Richmond Early College High School
- 2 – Monroe Avenue Elementary; Hamlet Middle; Ashley Chapel Educational Center; Ninth Grade Academy
RCS also reported 17 new staff cases:
- 5 – Richmond Senior
- 4 – Rockingham Middle
- 2 – Monroe Avenue, NGA
- 1 – L.J. Bell, West Rockingham, REaCH, Central Services
Since the school year began in August, there have been 1,102 student cases and 271 staff cases. Richmond Senior tops both lists with 257 students and 36 staff members testing positive.
It is not known how many people who tested positive are vaccinated or how many may have tested positive more than once.
Statewide cases, as they generally do, were trending downward on Monday, with NCDHHS reporting 18,452. There were 34,803 — the third-highest one-day total — reported on Saturday and 24,172 reported Sunday.
A note on the state’s COVID-19 Dashboard reads: “Delays in laboratories reporting tests to NCDHHS may occur as laboratories are processing unprecedented numbers of COVID-19 tests.”
The Health Department also reported that the number of COVID-related deaths has risen to 170. There have now been 11reported in 2022. There were 23 COVID-related deaths reported each in January and August of 2021.
No statistics are available since the Health Department stopped sending press releases on deaths earlier this month.
North Carolina’s COVID-related death total now sits at 20,193, an increase of 96 since Friday.
Hospitalizations continue to increase, with a new record of 4,896 reported by NCDHHS for Sunday. There was, however, a very slight drop from Friday to Saturday.
FirstHealth reported Monday that 107 of its 378 patients at its hospitals (28.3%) were COVID-positive and Scotland Memorial Hospital had 44 patients isolated.
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.
According to NCDHHS, 20,868 Richmond County residents (47%) are considered fully vaccinated and 8,241 have received booster shots.