ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County has broken the benchmark of 10,000 total COVID-19 cases.
On Tuesday, the Richmond County Health Department reported there have been 10,102 positive test results since April of 2020, meaning that there have been 688 new cases since Friday’s report.
Health Director Cheryl Speight said the cases are from testing done Friday afternoon through Monday.
Richmond County Schools reported more than 100 new cases on its COVID Tracker on Tuesday, including 95 students in 11 of the district’s 15 schools:
- 25 – Richmond Senior High School
- 13 – Richmond Early College High School
- 12 – Ninth Grade Academy, Fairview Heights Elementary
- 6 – Monroe Avenue, Washington Street Elementary, Cordova Middle
- 5 – East Rockingham Elementary, Hamlet Middle
- 4 – L.J. Bell Elementary
- 1 – Mineral Springs Elementary
The district also reported 24 cases among staff members:
- 5 – Fairview Heights, L.J. Bell
- 3 – Richmond Senior, Central Services
- 2 – Washington Street
- 1 – Mineral Springs and Monroe Avenue Elementary, Cordova and Hamlet Middle, Ashley Chapel Educational Center, NGA
Since the school year began in August, there have been 917 students to test positive, including 224 at Richmond Senior, 114 at NGA, 66 at Washington Street, 63 at Hamlet Middle and 60 at Rockingham Middle.
All other schools have had fewer than 60 cases. Ashley Chapel and West Rockingham are the only two to have fewer than 20, with eight and 19, respectively.
Richmond Senior also tops the staff list with 29, followed by 26 at Fairview Heights, and 20 each at L.J. Bell, Washington Street and Central Services. There have been a total of 225.
There have been more than 2,300 positive local tests since Dec. 31, according to Health Department records.
Compared to the five counties with similar populations (43,000-48,000) — Beaufort, Jackson, McDowell, Stokes and Vance — Richmond County has had the most in the past 14 days with 1,866, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. That is nearly twice as many as Jackson, which has had 974.
There have been more than 100,000 cases across the state over the weekend, according to NCDHHS.
The NCDHHS COVID-19 Dashboard shows there were 34,391 new statewide cases on Saturday, 30,500 on Sunday, 22,308 on Monday and 31,902 on Tuesday, for a four-day total of 119,101.
The state has recorded more than 10,000 cases each day since Dec. 30, with every day except Jan. 4 exceeding the previous record of 11,581 set in January of 2021.
COVID-related hospitalizations also continue to rise, hitting a new record high of 4,630 on Monday.
FirstHealth reported on Tuesday that 108 of its 404 patients (26.7%) were COVID-positive. Scotland Memorial Hospital had 41 COVID patients hospitalized on Tuesday after reporting 49 on Monday, which was the most ever admitted at one time.
The Health Department announced Tuesday that rapid testing at either the drive-thru site behind the department or at Cole Auditorium will be unavailable until further notice. However, PCR testing is available at both sites.
According to NCDHHS, 20,794 residents of Richmond County are fully vaccinated and 7,959 have received a booster.
Reuters reported on Monday that a study in Israel shows that even a fourth jab isn’t enough to prevent infections of the Omicron variant.
The federal government announced last week that ordering for free at-home COVID test kits begins Jan. 19. Each home can order up to four and there will be no shipping costs.
Vaccinations are available at the Health Department.