COVID claims fifth life in Bertie County

Published 6:21 pm Friday, July 31, 2020

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Albemarle Regional Health Services (ARHS) reported Friday that COVID-19 has claimed the life of another Bertie County resident.

That individual was over the age of 65 and succumbed to complications from the virus. To protect the family’s privacy, no further information about this patient will be released.

The death was the fifth in Bertie County since the outbreak began in March. It also increased the local death toll to 35, which includes 16 in Northampton; 12 in Hertford; and 2 in Gates.

As of Friday (July 31), there are 33 active cases of the virus in Bertie (where 194 cases are deemed recovered); 61 active in Hertford (200 recoveries); four active in Gates (35 recovered); and 20 active in Northampton (281 recoveries).

Meanwhile, an outbreak has been identified for a second time at Rivers Correctional Institute in Hertford County with one staff and two inmates with lab-confirmed positive test results. The second outbreak at Bertie Correctional remains stable with four staff.

As noted previously, NCDHHS considers an outbreak to be over if there is no evidence of continued transmission within the facility. This is measured as 28 days after the latest date of onset in a symptomatic person or the latest date of specimen collection in an asymptomatic person, whichever is later.

“We continue to see an increase in COVID-19 case activity across the region and it remains imperative that our community members practice protection measures that will keep us safe and healthy,” said ARHS Health Director R. Battle Betts Jr. “I encourage all residents to wear a mask to prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a mask will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”

Betts added that masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings. The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when masks are used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

COVID-19 testing is available for those meeting criteria by appointment only at the local health departments across the region. ARHS encourages residents to call their primary care provider for an assessment or information on testing availability before calling the local health department. If someone does not have a primary care home, ARHS does offer primary care services. All tests will be completed through a curbside screening clinic at the local health department.

For more information on criteria for COVID-19 testing or appointments, call 252-338-WELL/9355 or your local health department directly.

The Northampton County Health Department is also conducting tests for COVID-19. To learn more, call 252-534-5841.


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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