COVID-19 claims one more local life

Published 5:17 pm Tuesday, December 21, 2021

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After three consecutive weeks of no local deaths attributed to COVID-19, that streak of good news was shattered last week.

Albemarle Regional Health Services (ARHS) reported the death of a Bertie County resident. That individual was in the 65-and-over age group.

The death toll in the Roanoke-Chowan area now stands at 221 since the pandemic began in March of last year. Seventy-four of those deaths have occurred in Northampton County followed by Hertford County (73), Bertie County (55), and Gates County (19).

Three of the four counties in the Roanoke-Chowan area reported increases last week in the number of active cases of COVID-19.

Bertie County experienced the largest increase of new cases. Two weeks ago that number stood at 24. That number increased to 37 last week.

There are three newly reported cases in Gates County. There, 24 residents have contracted the virus.

Northampton County’s number of active cases grew by two last week, from 15 to 17.

Hertford County reported a decrease in active cases, falling from 22 to 17 last week.

Across the Albemarle region, the 25-to-49 year-old age group ranks the highest (43.08%) for being diagnosed with COVID-19.

“As our community prepares for the holiday season, take action now to protect yourself and your loved ones by getting your COVID-19 vaccine,” said ARHS Health Director R. Battle Betts, Jr. “To help reduce the spread of the virus this winter there are several things we can do. Before you travel or gather with others, get your vaccine, booster doses and flu shot. Get tested if you are a feeling sick and stay home if you are experiencing any symptoms. We also encourage everyone to wear a mask indoors in public, even if you are vaccinated. We are starting to see a slight increase in cases across the state, but if we act now and follow these prevention and mitigation strategies, we can hopefully avoid a large surge in cases.”

ARHS continues to offer appointments for Pfizer vaccinations for ages 5 years and older, as well as Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for adults 18 and over. Appointments are for first, second, third, and booster doses.

To make an appointment, 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).

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

The FDA and CDC is recommending anyone 18 years or older who received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine can receive a booster six months after their second dose to help strengthen and extend protections against COVID-19.

Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or has been exposed to the virus should get tested as soon as possible. To find a testing site near you, visit For an up-to-date list of no-cost community testing events, visit the No-Cost Testing Events webpage. Additionally, all North Carolinians can request a free at-home COVID-19 testing kit.

While vaccines provide the best protection from COVID-19, treatment options such as monoclonal antibodies are available if you have had symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 days or less or have been exposed to COVID-19. If taken early, they can reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Ask your doctor about monoclonal antibodies, call the Combat COVID Monoclonal Antibodies Call Center at 1-877-332-6585 (English) or 1-877-366-0310 (Spanish), or find treatment near you.

The current rise of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina are attributed to the Delta variant. Health experts are warning that the highly contagious COVID-19 variant, Omicron, is expected to cause the greatest surge in COVID-19 infections to date in the coming months. The Omicron variant is two to three times as contagious the Delta variant, making it four to six times as contagious as the original COVID-19 virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services urge people to get vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) as soon as possible and to get a booster as soon as they are eligible to help prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death.








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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