• 70°

COVID death toll increases locally

Albemarle Regional Health Services (ARHS) received notification on Tuesday (Aug. 25) confirming two additional deaths associated with COVID-19 in Hertford County.

ARHS officials said one of the individuals was in the 50-64 year age range while the other was over the age of 65.

To protect the privacy of both families, no further information was released.

Hertford County now has 15 deaths linked to the virus, two more than last week. COVID-19-related deaths have also impacted Northampton County (17), Bertie County (5) and Gates County (2).

Additionally, ARHS reported COVID-19 outbreaks at Creekside Care and Rehabilitation Center in Ahoskie (four staff members and one resident with lab-confirmed positive test results) and at Three Rivers Health and Rehabilitation in Windsor where three staff members tested positive.

Outbreaks at Rivers Correctional Institute near Winton and Bertie Correctional Institute and the Brian Center in Windsor remain stable. An outbreak is considered 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.

The number of overall COVID-19 cases across the Roanoke-Chowan area also continues to rise. Since the outbreak began in March, Northampton County has confirmed 371 cases (up from 352 last week). Hertford County case count is at 437 (an increase over last week’s report of 410). Bertie is currently at 347 cases (323 last week); and Gates County has seen 67 of its citizens test positive for the virus (up from 58 last week).

Recoveries from the virus have also increased: 335 in Northampton; 354 in Hertford; 298 in Bertie; and 50 in Gates.

COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease. It is spread mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby.

Practicing physical distancing, self-quarantine and self-isolation are key factors in slowing the spread of the virus.

Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from the local health department.

Isolation is used to separate people infected with COVID-19 from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it is safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom if available.

You may end isolation when you can answer YES to all three questions: Has it been 10 days since symptoms first appeared; and 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.

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.

email author More by Cal