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No new COVID deaths reported this week in RC area

The good news….there are no new names to add this week to the local death toll from the COVID-19 virus.

The bad news….vaccine providers in North Carolina and across the nation continue to be hampered by delayed shipments and deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines due to severe weather.

On Friday afternoon, the federal government notified impacted states that vaccine shipments are expected to resume the beginning of next week.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said on Friday that North Carolina vaccines scheduled to arrive on Feb.16 and 17, but were not shipped, are now scheduled to arrive between Feb. 22 and 24.

Allocations for the next week are also expected to arrive during the same time period.

Typically, providers receive COVID-19 vaccine shipments of first doses on Tuesday and Wednesday and shipments of second doses on Thursday and Friday.

Due to weather related vaccine shipment delays, Albemarle Regional Health Services (ARHS) will not be announcing first and second dose clinics for the week for Feb. 22-25 at this time. They will provide updated clinic schedules as soon as they are notified of anticipated shipping dates.

ARHS is aware that individuals will need their second doses next week, but noted that second doses can be administered up to six weeks (42 days) following the first dose.

“This unforeseen delay in vaccine arriving to the region due to extreme weather conditions across the United States will impact our vaccine clinics next week,” said R. Battle Betts Jr., ARHS Health Director. “ARHS is optimistic that weather conditions will improve across the United States so vaccine shipments can resume next week. Unfortunately we cannot control the weather but we can continue to stay positive. We appreciate everyone’s patience and we look forward to being able to resume vaccine clinics as soon as we can.”

Northampton County Health officials said on Friday that they are also experiencing delays in receiving the vaccine.

“We will contact individuals who are due their second dose of Moderna vaccine next week (Feb. 22-26) as soon as we receive shipment to schedule your second dose appointment,” the Northampton County Health Dept. posted on their Facebook page.

All four R-C area counties saw increases in the number of first and second doses administered this week:

Bertie: 4,338 first doses and 2,371 second doses;

Gates: 2,282 first doses and 1,258 second doses;

Hertford: 3,677 first doses and 1,788 second doses;

Northampton: 2,678 first doses and 960 second doses.

The current number (as of Friday, Feb. 19) of active COVID-19 cases locally are 51 in Hertford County; 39 in Gates County; 24 in Northampton County; and 15 in Bertie County.

Since pandemic began in March of last year, there have been 66 deaths from the virus in Northampton County; 58 in Hertford County; 41 in Bertie County; and 12 in Gates County.

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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