Tuesday, 05 January 2021 19:07

COVID cases, hospitalizations increase in Richmond County; Cooper mobilizes National Guard for vaccine distribution

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COVID cases, hospitalizations increase in Richmond County; Cooper mobilizes National Guard for vaccine distribution Pixabay

ROCKINGHAM — The number of new cases and hospitalizations related to COVID-19 both increased on Tuesday.

In its daily update, the Richmond County Health Department reported 27 new positive results from recent coronavirus testing, bringing the five-day total for the new year and month up to 157.

The new cases, combined with 11 recoveries from the previous day (2,437 total), has the number of active cases in the county at 323 — nearly 90 more than on Dec. 31 when that number had dropped to 236.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday reported 5,285 new cases, nearly 100 more than the previous day. Only seven days since Dec. 4 have had fewer than 5,000 cases.

The first two days of the year had more than 9,000 new cases each, with Jan. 1 setting a new daily record high.

The number of local COVID-related hospitalizations rose from 11 to 15, the Health Department reported.

Statewide hospitalizations have steadily risen since mid-November, setting records nearly every day. That trend continued on Tuesday, with DHHS reporting 3,781. Hospitalizations had remained around 1,100 for about a month prior to the gradual increase.

FirstHealth reports that 94 of its 371 patients (25.3%) are COVID-positive and Scotland Memorial Hospital has 36 patients who are isolated.

On Monday, the Health Department announced it expects to move into Phase 1b of the vaccination plan next week, which will allow residents aged 75 years or older to receive the vaccine if they choose.

Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Twitter that he has mobilized the N.C. National Guard “to provide support to local health providers as we continue to increase the pace of vaccinations.”

“Ensuring COVID-19 vaccines are administered quickly is our top priority right now,” Cooper said. “We will use all resources and personnel needed.”

Free COVID-19 testing will continue throughout the month in the parking lot behind the Health Department. Testing will run from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, except when closed for lunch from noon-12:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Of all the tests performed on county residents, 23,119 have returned a negative result.


The number of local cases per age group are as follows (includes recoveries):

  •  0-18 - 414 (+4) 
  • 19-30 - 453 (+5)
  • 31-40 - 384 (+2)
  • 41-50 - 481 (+1) 
  • 51-64 - 55 (+8)
  • 65-older - 496 (+7)

(+ Denotes increase from previous report)

The number of active cases per ZIP code are as follows:

  • Rockingham - 187
  • Hamlet - 98
  • Ellerbe - 28
  • Hoffman - 7
  • Mount Gilead - 0
  • Marston - 3
  • Jackson Springs - 0

The total numbers (including recoveries) for surrounding counties are as follows:

  • Mecklenburg - 66,419 (other counties to top 10,000 are Wake, Guilford, Forsyth, Durham, Alamance, Cumberland, Gaston, Pitt, Johnston, Cabarrus, Catawba, Iredell, Union, New Hanover and Robeson)
  • Union - 13,554
  • Stanly - 4,647
  • Montgomery - 2,045
  • Anson - 1,519
  • Moore - 5,242 (832 active)
  • Hoke - 2,897
  • Scotland - 2,641
  • Robeson - 10,352 (more than higher-populated counties New Hanover and Buncombe)

All numbers are from DHHS except Moore, which are from the local health department, as there has been a discrepancy with the state.

Tyrrell County, the smallest by population, remains the only one of the state’s 100 counties to have fewer than 200 cases with 184.