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COVID claims two more local lives

COVID-19 still poses a health threat as the local death toll from the virus has increased.

On Monday of this week, Albemarle Regional Health Services (ARHS) received notification confirming an additional death associated with COVID-19 in a Hertford County resident. The individual was over the age of 65 and succumbed to complications from COVID-19. To protect the family’s privacy, no further information about this patient will be released.

Late last week, the Northampton County Health Department reported an additional COVID-19 related death.

“Our county has been informed that we have had a potential COVID-related death by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Northampton County Health Department offers its sincerest sympathy for the family of this case, and for all families and individuals impacted by COVID illness,” read a statement on the Northampton County Health Department’s Facebook page.

The two recent COVID-19 victims raises the death toll to 37 in the Roanoke-Chowan area (17 in Northampton; 13 in Hertford; 5 in Bertie; and 2 in Gates).

As of Monday (Aug. 17), Northampton County has experienced 352 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the outbreak began in March, of which 317 patients have recovered.

Hertford County’s total has risen the most locally in one week, now at 410 cases, compared to 316 on Aug. 7. However, the number of recoveries in the county is also on the rise, currently at 291 (up from 257 on Aug. 7).

Bertie County has seen 323 cases and 281 recoveries.

The number of cases in Gates County has increased by 12 since Aug. 7; now standing at 58 with 47 of those listed as recovered.

ARHS has been notified of two lab-confirmed positive cases at the Brian Center in Bertie County. One staff member and one resident have tested positive for COVID-19.

At this time, the outbreaks at Rivers Correctional Institute in Hertford County and Bertie Correctional Institute in Bertie County remain stable.

With many schools, public and private, across the region implementing a variety of plans, including in-person, hybrid, and virtual learning, local children need to learn new ways of staying healthy and safe. Going back to school will require schools and families to work together more than ever.

Teachers and staff can teach and encourage preventive behaviors at school. Likewise, it will be important for families to emphasize and model healthy behaviors at home and to talk to your children about changes to expect this school year.

To help with back to school planning here are a few tips:

Check in with your child each morning for signs of illness. If your child has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, they should not go to school. Make sure your child does not have a sore throat or other signs of a cough, diarrhea, severe headache, vomiting, or body aches.

Make sure your child is up-to-date with all recommended vaccines, including flu. All school-aged children should get an influenza flu vaccine every season.

Review and practice proper hand washing techniques at home, especially before and after eating, sneezing, coughing, and adjusting a mask or cloth face covering.

Develop daily routines before and after school—for example, things to pack for school in the morning (like hand sanitizer and an additional mask) and things to do when you return home (like washing hands immediately and washing masks).

Talk to your child about precautions to take at school such as, frequent hand washing, keeping physical distance from other students, wearing a mask and avoid sharing objects with other students, including water bottles, devices, writing instruments, and books.

For more information about COVID-19, visit these sites:

Albemarle Regional Health Services – http://www.arhs-nc.org/ or call 252-338-WELL

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services – https://www.ncdhhs.gov/

Center for Disease Control – https://www.cdc.gov/

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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