Northampton COVID-19 cases spike

Published 3:16 pm Monday, March 30, 2020

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Northampton County now has 31 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), with 28 at one facility.

The latest update was reported at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. That update showed an increase of three cases from Monday’s report.

The 28 cases at the single facility represents an increase of four since Monday. There were 20 new cases there on Saturday.

Following protocol, Northampton Health Director Andy Smith was not allowed to name the facility. However, Smith did say that two of the 28 cases at the facility were deemed “recovered” as of Monday as they will have been asymptomatic for seven plus days based on CDC guidelines.

He added that the newly confirmed cases at the facility are cooperating with isolation restrictions since being tested.

“The majority of these cases are extremely mild with many being completely asymptomatic, meaning they have no symptoms related to COVID-19, but yet still tested positive,” Smith shared on Monday [he was unavailable for comment on Tuesday].

Smith said the asymptomatic cases included several staff members who tested positive. All are in isolation.

The presence of COVID-19 in Northampton County began with one confirmed case on March 22. That individual was a resident of the unnamed facility.

“At that point, we tested every individual there out of an abundance of caution for the residents and staff at this facility and for the community as a whole,” Smith stressed.

Before the end of the workweek, those tests revealed three additional COVID-19 cases. That number ballooned to 24 on Saturday (March 28) where the test results on 20 individuals came back positive.

Smith said the facility was ordered to lockdown effective March 10.

“That measure was put in place prior to all these confirmed cases there,” Smith maintained. “That measure prevented visitors from entering the facility. The residents there were allowed to travel to scheduled visits with their medical providers.”

According to other published reports, one of those residents – a male in his mid-60’s from Southampton County, VA – arrived there on March 12 after spending time at a rehabilitation center in Courtland, VA.

Those published reports said the man left the Northampton County facility on March 22, two days after being tested positive for COVID-19, and was transported to a Virginia hospital for surgery unrelated to the virus.

That man succumbed on Friday, March 27 while still hospitalized.

The Western Tidewater Health District reported that death, the first one in that region. The press release went on to say that respiratory failure was the cause of death. The release added that the man had several underlying medical conditions, which exacerbated the effects of COVID-19.

As far as the other three Northampton County cases not linked to the unnamed facility, one was confirmed earlier last week. Smith said that individual traveled out of state and tested positive after returning home. He said that individual is in isolation at home and is “doing fine.”

Details of the other two cases are not known.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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