Monday, 05 April 2021 15:01

State adds categories to County Alert System, Richmond further downgraded

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All N.C. counties have moved out of the critical designation in the state's COVID-19 County Alert System. All N.C. counties have moved out of the critical designation in the state's COVID-19 County Alert System. NCDHHS

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County has now moved into a new category in the state’s COVID-19 County Alert System as new cases continue to dwindle.

In the update issued by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on April 1, two new impact categories were added: light yellow and green. (See the report as an attachment to this story.)

The light yellow designation, in which Richmond is included, is for counties with moderate spread: 10-19 new cases per 100,000 in 14 days; 3-4.9% positive; and a slight impact on community hospitals.

Green designates counties with fewer than 10 new cases per 100,000 in two weeks; less than 3% positive; and a low impact on hospitals. The only county in that category is Alleghany, located in the northwest area of the state with a population of around 11,000.

All counties have moved out of the red, or critical, designation. A month ago, there were still six, including neighboring Montgomery.

Richmond had been a red county since Dec. 8, was downgraded to an orange county Feb. 22, and then yellow on March 4.

Other nearby light yellow counties are Anson and Robeson. Scotland and Moore are still orange, while Stanly, Montgomery, Union and Hoke are all yellow.

On Monday, the Health Department reported 28 new cases of the coronavirus. However, that included April 2-5 — averaging out to seven per day — as neither the county nor the state reported numbers over Easter Weekend.

There are currently 72 active cases — an increase of eight since Thursday — with two individuals hospitalized. Active cases had dropped as low as 32 (March 22, 23) after topping out at 504 on Jan. 14.

It has now been one year since the first positive case of COVID-19 in the county, which was reported the following day. Richmond was one of the last 10 counties to record a case.

The total now stands at 4,400, including 92 COVID-related deaths.

Richmond County Aging Services is organizing a drive-thru vigil — scheduled for 8 p.m. April 9 in the Human Services Complex parking lot — to remember those whose deaths were attributed to COVID-19.

According to Aging Services Director Jacqueline Welch, there will be a luminary for each resident who lost their fight with the coronavirus.

Earlier in the day, the Health Department announced that the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is now available, in addition to the two-dose Moderna vaccine.

According to Monday’s update from DHHS, 7,783 Richmond County residents have been fully vaccinated and 10,854 (24.2%) have been partially vaccinated.

Vaccinations are now open to all individuals 18 and older in both Richmond and Scotland counties.

During a press conference late last month, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said the only vaccine rated for 16 and 17 year olds is the one developed by Pfizer. For the other two, individuals must be at least 18.

Richmond County Schools returned to in-person instruction at the beginning of February.

On Friday, the district reported three new cases among traditional students at L.J. Bell Elementary.

Since late August RCS has reported the following COVID-19 case totals: 11 in Central Office; 135 staff members; 91 traditional students; and 252 virtual students.


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

  • 0-18 - 693
  • 19-30 - 721
  • 31-40 - 608
  • 41-50 - 754
  • 51-64 - 905
  • 65-older - 719

According to the Health Department, 54% of the cases have involved female patients.

Looking at the percentage of cases by race:

  • Caucasian - 53%
  • Black - 34%
  • Hispanic - 10%
  • Other - 3%

The number of cases for the past 14 days, according to DHHS, (including recoveries) for surrounding counties are as follows:

  • Mecklenburg - 3,248
  • Union - 795
  • Stanly - 195
  • Montgomery - 37
  • Anson - 37
  • Moore - 171
  • Hoke - 105
  • Scotland - 42
  • Robeson - 174

All 100 of North Carolina’s counties have now experienced at least 300 total cases, according to DHHS. Hyde County, the state’s least populated, has had the fewest with 308.

Daily cases statewide dropped by more than 100 over the weekend, from 2,076 on April 2 to 1,054 on April 5.

DHHS reports that 904 state residents were hospitalized with COVID-19 on April 4.

According to the Health Department, 41,732 tests have been negative.

How Richmond County compares in total cases and COVID-related deaths to counties with similar populations(43,000-48,000) :

  • Richmond - 4,400 cases, 92 deaths
  • Vance - 4,685 cases, 85 deaths
  • Beaufort - 4,462 cases, 89 deaths
  • McDowell - 5,507 cases, 63 deaths
  • Stokes - 3,801 cases, 79 deaths
  • Jackson -3,504 cases, 55 deaths
Last modified on Tuesday, 06 April 2021 14:39