Wednesday, 12 January 2022 18:08

More than 300 test positive for COVID in Richmond County

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ROCKINGHAM — A recent surge in COVID-19 cases continues to set new record highs.

The Richmond County Health Department on Wednesday reported 302 new cases of the coronavirus, which is higher than the past weekend total reported on Monday.

The new tally brings the total number of new positive cases since Dec. 31 to 1,354 and the pandemic total to 9,085.

Richmond County Schools reported 64 new cases on its COVID Tracker as of 4:45 p.m.

Of those, 57 are among students:

  • 17 - Richmond Senior High School
  • 10 - Ninth Grade Academy
  • 7 - Rockingham Middle
  • 6 - Monroe Avenue Elementary
  • 4 - Richmond Early College High School
  • 3 - Washington Street Elementary, Cordova Middle
  • 2 - L.J. Bell, West Rockingham Elementary; Hamlet Middle
  • 1 - East Rockingham Elementary

There are also seven new staff cases, one each at East Rockingham, Fairview Heights, Monroe Avenue and Washington Street Elementary, Cordova Middle, NGA and Richmond Senior.

Since the school year began in August, there have been 729 student cases — 169 since Jan. 6 — and 169 staff cases. Richmond Senior tops both lists with 177 and 22, respectively.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 25,445 new cases on Wednesday, marking the sixth day this month with more than 20,000. The record was set Jan. 8 at 29,069.

The rate of positive tests is 30.9%

NCDHHS also reported a new record high of COVID-related hospitalizations, topping 4,000.

According to NCDHHS, there were 4,098 North Carolinians hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday. That number has been on a steep increasing slope since fewer than 1,800 were hospitalized on Christmas Day.

The Health Department did not include local hospital numbers in its update as it generally does on Wednesdays, but Health Director Cheryl Speight said in an email that there were 17

Some regional hospitalizations have decreased slightly, with FirstHealth reporting Wednesday that 88 of its 416 patients (21.2%) were COVID-positive. There were 107 on Monday. 

However, Scotland Memorial Hospital’s number of isolated patients increased from 22 on Monday to 31 on Wednesday.

According to the Health Department, the number of vaccinations remains at 20,769, with no change since Monday. It is not known how many of those who recently tested positive are vaccinated.

NCDHHS reports that 70% of the state’s adult population is fully vaccinated.

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. Testing is being done behind the Health Department and at Cole Auditorium, however rapid tests are not currently available.