Friday, 03 September 2021 19:07

68 Richmond County students test positive first 2 weeks of school; 109 total cases for county in September

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ROCKINGHAM — Twenty-three students have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two days, according to Richmond County Schools.


The district’s COVID tracker on Friday showed a total of 68 students — up from 45 on Wednesday — have tested positive since classes for the new school year began last week.

Thirteen of those students were new for the last day of the week:

  • Five at Hamlet Middle;
  • Two at Cordova Middle and Richmond Senior High; and
  • One each at L.J. Bell Elementary, Rockingham Middle, Richmond Early College High School and the Ninth Grade Academy.

Every school in the district has now had at least one case of the coronavirus among students, with Richmond Senior topping the list with 15 cases, followed by Hamlet Middle with 12.

There have also been a total of nine staff members to test positive — two in Central Services; and seven at the schools: two each at Fairview Heights and West Rockingham Elementary; one each at East Rockingham and Monroe Avenue Elementary, and Rockingham Middle.

The Richmond County Health Department has reported a total of 73 new cases in the past two days — 37 on Thursday and 36 on Friday.

That brings the total of number of cases since the first was reported in April 2020 to 6,137 and makes 109 for the first three days of September. 

There were 873 cases reported from July 29-Aug. 31 — an average of 25.7 per day.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has reported more than 16,000 new statewide cases in the past two days — 7,901 on Thursday and 8,590 on Friday, the second-highest day thus far in the summer surge. On Aug. 26, NCDHHS reported 8,620.

However, the listed numbers aren’t entirely accurate.

A note on the state’s COVID Dashboard reads:

“Results from some laboratories were not received due to a technical issue with reporting from the national electronic laboratory reporting platform. This issue has been resolved and these results will be included in the next dashboard update on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021.”

The state will not be reporting updated numbers on Labor Day.

A recent record 3,800 people were in North Carolina hospitals with the coronavirus on Thursday, according to DHHS, nearly double the 1,468 hospitalized on Aug. 2.

FirstHealth reported on Friday that 92 of its 410 patients were COVID-positive. Of those:

  • 17 have been vaccinated, 75 are unvaccinated
  • All but one of the 15 patients in ICU are unvaccinated
  • All but one of the eight patients on ventilators are unvaccinated

On Thursday, Scotland Memorial Hospital had 35 isolated patients with COVID-19, according to an infographic on the Scotland Health Care System Facebook page.

According to the Health Department, 16,889 Richmond County residents have been fully vaccinated — an increase of 91 in the past two days.

The Health Department has temporarily exhausted supplies of the Pfizer vaccine, which was primarily being administered to those aged 12-17, as it is the only one authorized for anyone under 18.

Interim Health Director Cheryl Speight said supplies should be restocked by Tuesday. 

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.

The Health Department will not be open Monday in observance of Labor Day.