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COVID vaccine clinics continue locally

As supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine continue to make their way to northeastern North Carolina, local health agencies are making those virus-fighting shots available to the current priority groups.

Meanwhile, the number of newly reported cases of the virus continue to decline across the Roanoke-Chowan area, but local health officials still encourage citizens to wear their masks and practice social distancing in an effort to maintain those dwindling numbers.

This week, first-dose and second-dose vaccines will be made available to healthcare workers, individuals ages 65-and-over, and essential workers.

Albemarle Regional Health Services (ARHS) has scheduled the following local vaccine clinics this week:

Hertford County (for first dose and second dose) on Wednesday, March 10 from 9-11:30 a.m. (or until supplies are depleted) at the Ahoskie Creek Amphitheater, located at 125 Edgewood Drive;

Bertie County (for first and second dose) on Thursday, March 11 from 9-11:30 a.m. (or until supplies are depleted) at Bertie High School, located at 715 US Hwy 13 North, Windsor); and

Gates County (for first and second dose) on Thursday, March 11 from 9-11:30 a.m. (or until supplies are depleted) at the Gates County Health Department, located at 29 Medical Center Road, Gates.

NOTE: Second doses at all three of these clinics are for those who received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine on or before Feb. 12.

Another first/second dose clinic will be held from 9-11:30 a.m. (or until supplies depleted) on Friday, March 12 at Bertie High School. NOTE: The second dose will be for those individuals who received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine on or before Feb. 13.

“We are asking that only individuals who live in the ARHS region and meet these priority groups attend first dose clinics,” stated ARHS Medical Director R. Battle Betts Jr. “Individuals who do not meet this requirement will be asked to leave and instructed to contact their local health department for vaccine information. Please help us meet the needs of our community by adhering to this guidance and supporting our public health and public safety workforce as they work to vaccinate our communities.”

Betts added that those receiving their first dose at one of the ARHS clinics, regardless of residence status, will be able to receive their second dose as long as they have their vaccine card with them.

“Our vaccine campaign continues to make great strides in vaccinating our community members, supplies are catching up to demand across the region and we look forward to moving into phases 4 and 5 over the coming weeks,” Betts stated. “We anticipate supply will continue to expand across the state and nation, and the state will adjust phases accordingly.

“We look forward to serving all ARHS residents 18 and older who want the vaccine. Please continue to help your neighbors, friends, and family know when we have upcoming vaccine clinics. Not everyone has access to the internet or news media and word of mouth is still one of the best tools we have in sharing information with our community,” he added.

ARHS is starting a wait list for all individuals in its eight-county region who still need their COVID-19 vaccine. They are asked to register at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ARHSCOVIDWaitList.

Those on that list will be contacted when it’s their turn to receive the vaccine. If you previously signed up and have not received the vaccine, fill out the contact information again online.

The number of R-C area residents vaccinated against COVID-19 by the ARHS continues to rise. Those numbers are as follows as of March 5:

Bertie County – 4,850 first doses; 3,937 second doses;

Gates County – 2,501 first doses; 2,073 second doses; and

Hertford County – 4,254 first doses; 2,996 second doses.

The local death toll from COVID-19 inched up again last week as there was one loss of life in Hertford County due to complications with the virus. That individual was over the age of 65 and was not associated with a facility outbreak.

There were no other local deaths from the virus in the R-C area last week. The current death toll across the four counties now stands at 183 since the pandemic began in March of last year. Northampton has lost 66 of its citizens to the virus; Hertford County has recorded 61 deaths; Bertie has 44; and Gates County has 12.

The Northampton County Health Department is currently vaccinating healthcare workers, individuals 65 and older, childcare providers, educators working in PreK-12 schools, and frontline essential workers.

Frontline Essential workers include individuals 18 and older working in critical manufacturing, essential goods, food and agriculture, government and community services, health care and public health, public safety and transportation. That includes grocery store employees, social workers, food processing workers, pharmacy employees, restaurant staff, U.S. Postal Service workers, clergy, law enforcement, paramedics, police officers, firefighters, veterinarians and elected officials.

Please call 252-534-5841 with your name and number to be added to the waiting list and a staff member will contact you as doses become available. Once shipments of vaccine are received and accounted for, individuals on the waiting list are contacted immediately to make an appointment.

As of March 5, the Northampton Health Department has administered 3,888 first doses of the vaccine and 1,704 second doses.

“Northampton County Health Department staff are working tirelessly around the clock to provide this vaccine to citizens. Information regarding individuals who fall into other vaccine phases will be forthcoming,” according to a post on the Northampton County Health Department’s Facebook page.

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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