Monday, 18 October 2021 17:56

Richmond County Health Department reports 2 COVID deaths, 15 cases

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Richmond County Health Department reports 2 COVID deaths, 15 cases Pixabay

ROCKINGHAM — Despite a continuing drop in COVID-19 cases, Richmond County recently had two more residents die from complications with the virus.

The Richmond County Health Department on Monday reported two new COVID-related deaths, bringing the overall total to 141.

They are the first COVID deaths reported in two weeks — the most recent being reported Oct. 4 — making four for this month.

There were 11 COVID-related deaths in September, 13 in February and 23 in both January and August.

According to the Health Department, the updated race and gender breakdown is as follows: 22 African American females, 25 African American males, three “other race” females, one “other race” male, two Hispanic females, two Hispanic males, two American Indian males, 43 Caucasian females and 41 Caucasian males.

All patients have been between the ages of 31 and 95: 35 have been 80 or older; 33 have been in their 70s; 40 in their 60s; 20 in their 50s; eight in their 40s; and five in their 30s.

Of the county’s deaths, 110 have been at a hospital, 24 have passed away in another healthcare facility and seven have died outside of a health setting.

Based on previous reports, the two most recent deaths were of a man and woman, both African American. One was in his or her 50s, the other was in his or her 30s.

North Carolina has recorded a total of 17,536 COVID-related deaths — 817 since Oct. 4 — according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

When compared to the other five counties with similar populations (43,000-48,000) Richmond ranks the highest, however, McDowell County has again seen the largest increase in COVID-related deaths in the past two weeks. Records with NCDHHS show the following death totals:

  • Vance - 99 (+6)
  • Beaufort - 126 (+5) 
  • McDowell - 112 (+10)
  • Stokes - 104 (+5)
  • Jackson - 70 (+1)

(Additions in parentheses are since Oct. 4. State records may not reflect county records, as Richmond is still only shown to have 134. During the same time period, Richmond has had two.)

Neighboring Scotland County, which has a population nearly 10,000 less than that of Richmond, has also had 141 as of Oct. 18, according to Scotland Health Care System.

The Health Department also reported only 15 new cases — more than half that of the previous two weekends— dropping the three-day average to five per day.

Richmond County Schools reported six new cases on its COVID Tracker: one at West Rockingham Elementary; two at Richmond Senior High; and three at Rockingham Middle.

There have now been 309 student-related classes this semester across the 15-school district:

  • 72 - Richmond Senior High
  • 40 - Ninth Grade Academy
  • 33 - Hamlet Middle
  • 22 - East Rockingham Elementary
  • 19 - Mineral Springs Elementary, Rockingham Middle
  • 16 - Washington Street Elementary, Cordova Middle
  • 15 - L.J. Bell Elementary
  • 14- Richmond Early College High School
  • 13- Monroe Avenue Elementary
  • 11 - Ellerbe Middle
  • 9 - West Rockingham Elementary
  • 8 - Fairview Heights Elementary
  • 2 - Ashley Chapel Educational Center

RCS has also recorded a total of 51 staff-related cases. The only school with no staff-related case is Ellerbe Middle.

Statewide daily cases continue a downward trend with NCDHHS reporting 1,599 on Monday — dipping below 2,000 for the second time since early August. There were 1,786 reported Oct. 11.

COVID-related hospitalizations also continue to drop, with 1,852 reported for Oct. 18. This weekend marks the first time that number has been less than 1,900 since Aug. 8.

FirstHealth reported Monday that 35 of its 355 patients (9.9%) are COVID-positive. Of those, seven (20%) are vaccinated and the remaining 28 are unvaccinated. Also, all of the four ICU patients are unvaccinated, as is the patient on a ventilator.

As of Monday, 19,208 county residents have been vaccinated, according to the Health Department, which has a goal of 66%. That’s an increase of 83 from Friday.

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.