COVID’s local death toll climbs by five

Published 5:07 pm Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

COVID’s grip may be loosening across the state, but that’s not the case locally.

The week of Oct. 10-15 was a deadly one here in the Roanoke-Chowan area where the virus claimed five lives.

Albemarle Regional Health Services (ARHS) reported three of those deaths in Gates County. Two individuals were in the 50-64 year age range and the other individual was over the age of 65.

Those three COVID-related deaths were the most in a single week in Gates County since the pandemic began 19 months ago.

ARHS also reported one death each in Bertie and Hertford counties. The Bertie death was an individual between the ages of 50-64, while the Hertford County death involved an individual over the age of 65.

The addition of these five individuals raised the death toll in the Roanoke-Chowan area to 212 since the pandemic began in March of last year. Seventy-two of those deaths have occurred in Northampton County followed by Hertford County (70), Bertie County (52), and Gates County (18).

Meanwhile, the number of active cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 increased in three of the four local counties as follows:

Hertford County: 48 (an increase of three cases from the previous week)

Bertie County: 45 (+16)

Gates County: 27 (+3)

Northampton County: 45 (a decrease of 18 cases from the previous week).

In its weekly report, ARHS noted the number of residents fully vaccinated in its eight-county district rose to above 61 percent (61.32%). The report shows a total of 83,672 individuals fully vaccinated (an increase of 699 people since the previous week).

Locally, fully vaccinated individuals in the ARHS region include 5,499 in Bertie (+14 from last week’s report); 4,907 in Hertford (+46); and 3,875 in Gates (+25).

As of Friday, Oct. 8, ARHS has also administered 1,399 booster doses (third shots of the Pfizer vaccine).

Appointments for the Pfizer booster doses will continue to be offered at each of the ARHS health department locations, as well as the other vaccines.

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.

Statewide, the daily number of COVID-19 cases is on the decline. There were 11,337 new cases reported on Sept. 11. By Tuesday of this week, that number was at 1,599 (according to the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services). The number of those hospitalized due to COVID-19 complications has fallen by over 1,600 during that same time frame.

Both the Northampton County Health Department and ARHS stressed that NC DHHS and the CDC have emphasized the added importance of getting a regular flu vaccine during the 2021-2022 flu season because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Flu vaccines have been shown to prevent flu illness and reduce the risk of hospitalizations and deaths.

Meanwhile, local health officials urge the public to continue to maintain social distancing, wear face coverings, and wash your hands as we move into the traditional flu season. The same preventive and safety measures that help protect against COVID-19 are also strategies that will help protect you against the flu in addition to getting your flu vaccine.


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