Wednesday, 28 July 2021 18:45

Richmond County Health Department announces 101st COVID death, 113 new cases

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ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Health Department on Wednesday announced the third COVID-related death within a week.


The latest death brings the county’s total to 101 since the first was reported in April of 2020. There have been four within the past month.

According to the Health  Department, the race and gender breakdown is as follows: 18 African American females, 16 African American males, two “other race” females, one “other race” male, two Hispanic females, two American Indian males, 29 Caucasian females and 31 Caucasian males.

All patients have been between the ages of 31 and 95: 27 have been 80 or older; 28 have been in their 70s; 30 in their 60s; 12 in their 50s; three in their 40s and one who was 31.

It appears the latest death is that of an African American man in his 50s who died in a hospital, based on previous reports.

Of the county’s 100 deaths, 76 have been at a hospital, 20 have passed away in another healthcare facility and five have died outside of a health setting.

There have now been 48 COVID-related deaths in the county so far this year, including 13 in February and 23 in January. There were also 15 in October and 13 in December of 2020.

According to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, the state has recorded a total 13,606 COVID-related deaths as of Monday, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. There have been 186 in the past week — compared to 142 from June 28 to July 22.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Health Department reported 113 new cases of COVID-19 for the most recent week, with 13 hospitalized. 

That’s 20 more than the previous week’s total of 93 and making a total of 313 for the month of July.

Last week, interim Health Director Cheryl Speight told the RO that there had been 28 breakthrough cases — when patients are diagnosed with the coronavirus after 14 days of being fully vaccinated since July 1.

“Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in an update Tuesday. “However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others.”

Therefore, the CDC is recommending that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors, and get tested if they show symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, nearly 17,000 of Richmond County’s 45,000 residents (38%) had been partially vaccinated and 35 had been fully vaccinated, according to DHHS. The Health Department’s goal is 66%.

On Tuesday, the Health Department announced that it would change its testing hours to Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. due to increased demand.

All three vaccines with emergency use authorization in the U.S. are available in Richmond County. However, local health officials are trying to reserve the Pfizer vaccine for teenagers, as it is currently the only one authorized for use on those aged 12 and up. Moderna is now seeking the same approval.

Vaccines are available at the Health Department Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Fridays from 8-11 a.m.

There is no charge and no appointment necessary.