COVID-19 local cases remain low

Published 5:24 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

As the Roanoke-Chowan area denotes this month as the second anniversary of the first COVID-19 cases in the four local counties, it appears that the virus is loosening its grip.

The number of newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the local area continues to decline.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) reported that as of March 25, there were only seven newly diagnosed cases in the four R-C area counties. While that number matches the total from the previous week’s report, it should be noted that there were no new cases in Bertie County (down from three the week prior). And, for the third consecutive week, there were no new cases in Gates County.

The only reported cases locally were in Northampton County (five) and Hertford County (two).

Albemarle Regional Health Services (ARHS) said there were no local COVID-related deaths last week. ARHS also reported that all local outbreaks of COVID at nursing homes/rest homes as well as at Bertie Correctional Institution are resolved.

Statewide, NCDHHS reported that while the number of newly reported cases across the state increased by one last week (from 1,223 to 1,224), the number of those hospitalized statewide due to complications with the virus decreased dramatically (falling from 1,093 two weeks ago to 557 last week).

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

NCDHHS officials said the most sequenced cases are Omicron BA 1.

There were 22 COVID-related deaths statewide from March 18-25. The daily death toll has been in single digits for 12 of the past 13 days. That broke a streak of 116 consecutive days (Nov. 15, 2021 through March 22, 2022) with daily COVID-related deaths in the double digits, to include a single-day record of 98 deaths on Feb. 4.

In their weekly update, NCDHHS noted downward trends in all early warning indicators, and added that there are medium to low levels of community risk in all 100 counties. Each of the R-C area counties is currently listed in the “low level” category.

As the numbers fall across northeastern North Carolina, ARHS said they will end their weekly updates.

“We greatly appreciate the trust and cooperation from our communities and our partners as we have navigated this pandemic over the last two years together,” said R. Battle Betts, Jr., ARHS Health Director. “While we will continue to monitor trends in COVID like we do flu and other illnesses, we will no longer be issuing weekly reports but will offer additional guidance and information when the need presents itself. NCDHHS and CDC have continuously worked to develop their dashboards to provide accurate and timely information and we encourage you to visit those sites for data and updates as we move forward.”

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).

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.

The first local cases of COVID-19 were reported during the last week of March 2020. At that time, there were one case each in Northampton and Hertford counties and three cases in Bertie County. Gates County’s first case was reported in April of 2020.

The Roanoke-Chowan area death toll from COVID stands at 249 individuals since March 2020.

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