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COVID-19 claims two more lives in Hertford County

COVID-19 tragically claimed the lives of two more Hertford County residents last week.

Albemarle Regional Health Services (ARHS) reported one individual was in the 50-64 year age range and the other was over the age of 65. One death was affiliated with an outbreak at a long-term care facility in Hertford County.

Those two victims pushed the COVID-19 death toll to above 200 in the Roanoke-Chowan area since the pandemic began in March of last year. Seventy-one of those deaths have occurred in Northampton County followed by Hertford County (68), Bertie County (48), and Gates County (14).

Meanwhile, the number of active cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 fell last week in all four local counties as follows:

Northampton County: 118 (a decrease of 14 cases from the previous week)

Hertford County: 70 (-8)

Bertie County: 53 (-31)

Gates County: 22 (-9)

“The majority of active cases across the region are among populations 0 – 17 and 25 – 49,” said ARHS Health Director R. Battle Betts Jr. “In addition, these two age groups have low vaccination rates. I simply cannot say it enough, vaccines remain our most valuable tool to stay ahead of the virus and keep our community safe. We urge everyone 12 and older to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to continue to practice the 3Ws – wear a mask, wait six feet apart and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to protect yourself and others.”

Betts added the nearly 91 percent of newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the region are among those not fully vaccinated.

ARHS is continuing to accept vaccine appointments (ages 12-and-up) for first and second dose Moderna and Pfizer, along with Johnson and Johnson, at each of its local health departments. Those in the R-C area can call the Gates County Health Dept. (252-357-1380), the Bertie County Health Dept. (252-794-5322), or the Hertford County Health Dept. (252-862-4054). Those offices can also be contacted for COVID testing.

Northampton County residents can call 252-534-5841 to schedule an appointment for either a COVID-19 vaccine or test.

As of Sept. 24, 59.76% of those ages 12-and-over are partially vaccinated across the eight counties served by ARHS. Those fully vaccinated account for 59.17% of the region’s population.

In its surveillance report from Sept. 24, ARHS listed a total of 620 active COVID-19 cases in the region, a decrease of 22 cases from the previous week. The majority of those cases impacted two age groups: 25-to-49 (36.13%) and 0-to-17 (30.32%).

Local health officials say it is important to follow guidance from NC DHHS including:

If you are not fully vaccinated, you should:

  • Get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalization and death, including from the Delta variant, and reduces community spread of the virus.
  • Practice the 3 W’s. Wear a face covering in all indoor and, crowded outdoor public settings. Wait 6 feet apart in all public settings. Wash your hands often.
  • Not gather with unvaccinated individuals who do not live with you. If you do gather, wear a mask, stay outside and keep 6 feet of distance.
  • Not travel. If you do travel, get tested 1-3 days before and 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self – quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
  • Get tested if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 and quarantine and get tested if you’ve been exposed to a person diagnosed with COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms.

If you are fully vaccinated, you should:

  • Wear a mask in all indoor public spaces if you live in area of high or substantial levels of transmission as defined by the CDC until more people are vaccinated and viral transmission decreases. Consider wearing a face covering in crowded outdoor settings where you cannot maintain 6ft physical distancing.
  • Get tested if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. After an exposure to a person with COVID-19, you should get tested 3-5 days after exposure and wear a mask around others for 14 days after exposure or until you get a negative test result.

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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