Friday, 22 January 2021 18:20

Richmond County nears record highs with COVID stats

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Richmond County nears record highs with COVID stats Pixabay

ROCKINGHAM — January has the potential to be the most active month for COVID-19 cases and deaths as numbers near record highs with a week to go.

The Richmond County Health Department has reported 58 new cases — 40 on Thursday, 18 on Friday — in the past two days.

That brings the monthly total to 723, just shy of the monthly high of 806 set in December, which was more than the previous two months combined.

According to the Health Department, there are 453 active cases, with increased recoveries counterbalancing the new cases. Fifty-three residents have been listed as recovered since Wednesday’s report.

As of Thursday, the monthly COVID-related death total was one shy of the monthly record high of 15 set in October. Six deaths were reported in three consecutive days earlier this week.

Richmond County also had a record high of 27 COVID-related hospitalizations on Thursday, but that number dropped back down to 25 on Friday.

While local hospitalizations have remained high, they seem to be on a downward trend both regionally and statewide.

FirstHealth reported on Friday that 84 of its 389 patients were COVID-positive. A week ago, there were 97.

Hospitalizations across North Carolina have been on a downward slope this week, dropping to 3,512 on Thursday (hospital numbers run a day behind) after rising continuously for almost two months, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

New daily statewide cases had been decreasing from Jan. 14-19, but started rising again Jan. 20, up to 7,436 on Jan. 22. There has only been one day this month with fewer than 5,000 cases.

On Thursday, DHHS updated the County Alert System to show 86 counties in red (critical spread) and 13 in orange (substantial spread). The only yellow county with just “significant spread” is Greene.

Richmond and all surrounding counties are in red.

All residents are encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19, however, FirstHealth and the Health Department announced Friday that only 400 of the requested 1,200 doses of the two-dose Moderna vaccine will be sent by the state, essentially suspending clinics for those who have not yet scheduled an appointment.

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.

There will also be free rapid testing at the Dobbins Heights Community Center Jan. 22 and 31.

Of all the tests performed on county residents, 26,329 have returned a negative result and 3,425 have been positive.