Friday, 08 October 2021 18:03

COVID cases, hospitalizations continue downward trend in Richmond County, state

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COVID cases, hospitalizations continue downward trend in Richmond County, state RO file photo

ROCKINGHAM — Daily COVID case numbers continue to decline in Richmond County and across North Carolina.

The Richmond County Health Department has reported only 79 cases for the past seven days: 44 on Monday (which includes Saturday and Sunday; 13 Tuesday; three Wednesday; 11 Thursday; and eight Friday.

As a comparison, there were 70 cases reported Wednesday, Sept. 8.

The latest figures bring the daily case average down to 11.2.

Richmond County Schools’ COVID tracker showed an increase of nine cases since Monday afternoon, with four on Friday: three at Richmond Senior High; and one at the Ninth Grade Academy.

There have been a total of 280 student-related and 48 staff cases (including five at Central Office) across the 15-school district since classes started back. Richmond Senior tops the list with the most student cases and second-most staff cases.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 4,078 new cases on Friday. The last time the daily case count was higher than 5,000 was Sept. 26.

The county’s percent-positive rate is 6.8%, just one-tenth of a percent higher than the state average, according to NCDHHS.

The agency began including reinfections on Monday, however they are not differentiated from new cases, so there is no way to tell how many of the cases involve patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 more than once.

Reinfection is defined as “a case of COVID-19 in someone with a positive laboratory test who previously had laboratory confirmed COVID-19 at least 90 days prior.”

“The number of reinfections has increased with the surge caused by the more infectious Delta variant,” according to a late September report from NCDDHS. “Reinfections were less often identified in children and persons of Hispanic ethnicity and more often identified in females but were otherwise similar compared to those with initial/primary infections.”

From June 2020 to Sept. 4, 2021, there were 200 reported reinfections in the state, with 94 of those being fatal.

Hospitalizations are also dropping — 2,467 on Thursday — dipping below 2,500 for the first time since mid-August.

FirstHealth reported Friday that 36 of its 413 patients (9%) are COVID-positive — six of whom (16.6%) have been vaccinated. The remaining 30 are unvaccinated, as are the three in ICU and one on a ventilator.

As of Friday, 18,880 county residents have been vaccinated, according to the Health Department. That’s an increase of 126 from Monday.

On Wednesday, the percentage of those eligible for the vaccine (12 and up) was 49% — just 17% shy of the 66% goal.

Testing is available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m at the Health Department and a secondary site opened last week at Cole Auditorium on the campus of Richmond Community College and will run from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Both the vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna are available through the Health Department, where they are available Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Fridays from 8-11 a.m. There is no charge and no appointment necessary.