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COVID-19 claims 10 local lives this week

COVID-19 continues its deadly path through the Roanoke-Chowan area, claiming 10 lives this week, raising the local death toll to 139.

The news isn’t any better across the state where another record was topped on Friday (Dec. 18). The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported the state’s highest one-day number of COVID-19 cases with 8,444 new cases, doubling a record day reported just one month ago on Nov. 19 when the state reported 4,296 new cases.

“I am very worried for our state. Everyone must act right now to protect each other,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “Do not wait until it’s you or your loved sick with COVID-19 to wear a mask, wait apart from others and wash your hands often. Do not wait until it’s you or your loved one alone in a hospital bed. Do not wait until you’ve lost a loved one to this pandemic. Take personal responsibility for you, your loved ones and your community now.”

Four of this week’s local deaths were in Bertie County, but only one was associated with an ongoing facility outbreak. Two deaths were in the age 50-64 range, while the other two were over the age of 65.

There were three additional deaths in Northampton County this week; two in Hertford County (both over the age of 65); and one in Gates County as an individual between the ages of 50-64 died at Accordius Health and Rehabilitation, the site of an ongoing facility outbreak.

Outbreaks are ongoing at Northampton Nursing & Rehab Center in Jackson where there have been 104 total cases and 14 deaths. Sixty-six of those cases and 13 deaths are among the residents there. Hampton Manor in Gaston has 48 total cases between staff and residents and seven deaths. Each of the seven deaths were residents.

Since the outbreak began in March, there have been 52 COVID-related deaths in Northampton County; 45 in Hertford County; 30 in Bertie County; and 12 in Gates County.

As noted statewide, community spread of the virus has caused a spike in the number of confirmed cases locally. Over the past seven days where have been 88 newly diagnosed cases in Hertford County; 81 in Bertie; 44 in Northampton; and 30 in Gates.

Since March there has been a total of 466,104 confirmed cases and 6,125 deaths in North Carolina. As of Friday, 2,824 individuals were hospitalized statewide due to complications with the virus.

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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