COVID-19 claims more local lives

Published 5:46 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2022

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While the number of newly reported cases of COVID-19 in the Roanoke-Chowan area continues to decline, that good news doesn’t come without some bad news to report.

There were four local deaths last week attributed to the virus. Two citizens in Bertie County, both over the age of 65, died due to complications of COVID-19. Hertford County also reported a death of an individual over the age of 65. Additionally, Northampton County lost one of its citizens last week because of the virus.

The loss of these four individuals increased the COVID-19 death toll to 247 in the R-C area since the pandemic began in March 2020.

To date, Hertford County’s death toll is 82 followed by Northampton (77), and Bertie (68) and Gates (20).

Meanwhile, the number of newly diagnosed COVID cases continues to fall in the local area, according to data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). Bertie saw the largest decline, dropping from 44 cases two weeks ago to 13 last week. Declines were also noted in Hertford County (from 22 to 17), Northampton County (from 29 to 24) and Gates County (from 9 to 6).

Statewide, NCDHHS reported 6,079 new cases of the virus and 2,872 individuals hospitalized due to COVID complications as of Feb. 16. Those numbers are down from the previous week (10,513 newly reported cases and 3,812 hospitalized).

In comparison, there were 20,286 new cases and 5,090 hospitalized reported by NCDHHS on Jan. 26.

COVID-19 vaccinations and testing remain available in the local area. For more information contact the Gates County Health Dept. (252-357-1380), the Bertie County Health Dept. (252-794-5322), the Hertford County Health Dept. (252-862-4054) or the Northampton County Health Department (252-534-5841).

Vidant Health has 14 locations across eastern North Carolina to help you get tested for COVID-19. If you need a test, please visit to find a Vidant testing location near you.

NCDHHS reminds everyone that the COVID-19 vaccine is available for free to all who want it. Vaccination is now open to everyone 5 and older. Visit to find a location.

To strengthen and extend protections against COVID-19, boosters are now available to all North Carolinians ages 12 and older. You should get a booster as soon as you are eligible.

If you received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you can get your booster five months after your second shot. If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you can get your booster two months after your shot.

You can choose any brand of COVID-19 vaccine for your booster shot. Limited preliminary evidence suggests that booster doses of one of the two mRNA vaccines — Moderna or Pfizer — more effectively raise antibody levels than a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The CDC also recommends a third dose of Pfizer for children ages 5 to 11 who have compromised immune systems.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccines, visit or call the COVID-19 Vaccine Help Center for free at 1-888-675-4567.

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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