Monday, 22 February 2021 17:20

Richmond drops to orange on state's COVID-19 County Alert System

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Richmond is now one of 40 counties listed as having only substantial community spread of COVID-19. Richmond is now one of 40 counties listed as having only substantial community spread of COVID-19. NCDHHS

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County is one of several that have moved from the critical list on the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ COVID-19 County Alert System.


The update, issued Monday afternoon, shows only 27 counties as red in the color-coded system.

That’s a significant decrease from the 61 counties on Feb. 4 and 86 on Jan. 21.

According to a press release, Monday marked the “fewest red counties in the state since the start of the County Alert System.”

Richmond had been a red county since Dec. 8.

Counties are color-coded either red (critical), orange (substantial) or yellow (significant) based on the following criteria:

  • Case Rate: The number of new cases in 14 days per 100,000 people
  • Percent Positive: The percent of tests that are positive over 14 days 
  • Hospital Impact: A composite score based on the impact that COVID-19 has had on hospitals including percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, COVID-19 related visits to the Emergency Department, staffed open hospital beds, and critical staffing shortages over 14 days

According to DHHS, Richmond County has had 428 new cases per 100,000 people the past two weeks. The actual number of cases in that time period is shown as 148.

Richmond is now an orange county, one of 40. There are also 33 yellow counties.

The numbers of local daily cases and total active cases, as well as hospitalizations have dropped significantly in recent weeks to lows not seen in at least two months.

Twenty-seven counties remain in the red, including Scotland, Hoke, Moore and Montgomery.

“With North Carolinians continuing to follow the 3Ws (wearing a face mask, waiting six feet apart and washing hands often) and more than one million people in the state having received at least a first dose of vaccine, we are slowing the spread and saving lives,” said NCDHHS Secretary Dr.  Mandy K. Cohen “Let’s keep it up.”