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Monday, 29 November 2021 15:47

Health Department reports 151st COVID-related death, 37 cases in Richmond County

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ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Health Department on Monday reported another COVID-related death, bringing the pandemic total to 151.


This marks the fourth consecutive reporting day a death has been announced. (The Health Department was closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.)

There have now been seven for the month, with deaths reported Nov. 1, 15, 18, 22, 23 and 24.

According to the Health Department, the updated race and gender breakdown is as follows: 22 African American females, 26 African American males, three “other race” females, one “other race” male, two Hispanic females, three Hispanic males, two American Indian males, 48 Caucasian females and 44 Caucasian males.

All patients have been between the ages of 31 and 95: 37 have been 80 or older; 37 have been in their 70s; 40 in their 60s; 24 in their 50s; eight in their 40s; and five in their 30s.

Of the county’s deaths, 119 have been at a hospital, 25 have passed away in another healthcare facility and seven have died outside of a health setting.

Based on previous reports, the most recent death is that of an African American male, 80 or older, who died in a hospital.

Last week’s deaths were all of Caucasian men: two in their 70s and the other in his 50s.

Richmond County’s first COVID-related death was reported shortly after the first few cases in April of 2020. There were 52 reported last year and there have been 99 so far this year: 23 in each January and August; 13 in February; and 11 in September.

North Carolina has recorded a total of 18,714 COVID-related deaths — an increase of 38 from the previous day — according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Also on Monday, the Health Department reported 37 new cases since Nov. 24, averaging out to 7.4 per day.

Richmond County Schools, through its COVID Tracker, reported three new student-related cases — two at Washington Street Elementary and one at L.J. Bell Elementary — and three staff-related cases — one at Fairview Heights Elementary and two in Central Services.

The 15-school district has seen 376 cases among students and 61 among staff since the school year began.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there were no reported cases of the Omicron variant in the country as of Nov. 26.

According to the World Health Organization, the Omicron variant was first reported by South Africa on Nov. 24.

The WHO said the Omicron variant “has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning.” WHO officials say there is an increased risk of reinfection compared to other variants and that it may have a “growth advantage.”

One North Carolina family is stranded in South Africa because of international travel bans, the Carolina Journal recently reported.

Statewide COVID-related hospitalizations have remained relatively steady over the past month, with admission numbers staying between 1,032 and 1,114, according to NCDHHS. There were 1,077 reported Sunday.

FirstHealth hasn’t updated its statistics since Nov. 15. Scotland Memorial Hospital had four patients isolated with COVID-19 prior to the holiday weekend.

As of 2 p.m. Monday, 20,013 residents have been vaccinated, according to the Health Department, which is roughly 45% of the county’s population. The state has a vaccination rate of 57%.

Vaccinations were recently authorized for children as young as 5 and booster shots are now available for all vaccinated adults.

COVID vaccinations and boosters are available at the Health Department from 8 a.m. -5 p.m. Monday-Thursday 8-5, and 8-11 a.m. on Fridays with no appointment needed.

 

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