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Active COVID cases dwindle across R-C area

The impact of the COVID-19 vaccine becoming more readily available is being felt locally across the Roanoke-Chowan area.

There were no local deaths attributed to the virus last week. Meanwhile, the number of active cases continues to decline: a combined 39 in the four R-C area counties last week compared to 47 the week prior.

As of April 1, Hertford County was reporting 14 active cases. That number was in the single digits in the other three local counties: nine cases in Gates County and eight cases each in Bertie and Northampton.

More good news to report is the fact that facility outbreaks at Three Rivers Rehab and Bertie Correctional Institution, both located in Windsor, have been resolved, according to Albemarle Regional Health Services (ARHS).

“This is just one more positive step for our community as we move forward from this pandemic. While we are not quite at the finish line yet, please continue to follow the 3 W’s and if you have not received your vaccine call your health department to make an appointment,” said R. Battle Betts Jr., Health Director at ARHS.

The Northampton County Health Department continues to offer vaccinations to eligible groups/individuals by appointment only by calling 252-534-5841.

Meanwhile, ARHS is accepting appointments for first dose vaccines at each of its local health departments. Appointments will be available to residents of the eight county region who are age 18 and older.

First dose COVID-19 vaccines with not be offered at drive-thru clinic sites. Please call your local health department to make an appointment to receive your first dose of vaccine: Bertie County (252-794-5322), Gates County (252-357-1380), and Hertford County (252-862-4054).

“If you received your first dose at one of our clinics, regardless of residence status, you will be able to receive your second dose as long as you have your vaccine card with you,” Betts said.

If you received your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine with another provider such as Walgreens or CVS, you will need to return to that same facility for your second dose.

Second dose clinics are open to individuals who received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine on or before March 11.

A second dose clinic is slated locally at Bertie County High School’s parking lot from 9-11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 7.

As of April 1, a total of 9,761 first and second doses have been administered in Bertie County; 5,451 in Gates County; 8,608 in Hertford County; and 9,486 in Northampton County.

ARHS is collaborating with OptumServe to provide additional, no-cost COVID-19 testing sites in Bertie, Hertford, Gates, and Chowan counties. Typically testing is available Monday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Tuesday and Friday from 1 – 5 p.m. You may check availability and register to make an appointment for testing by visiting https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling (877) – 562-4850.

Health officials continue to ask local citizens to be mindful in practicing preventive and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please remember these precautions:

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Practice social distancing; stay at least six feet away from others, avoid unnecessary travel, avoid handshakes, hugs and other close contact.

Wear a cloth face covering in public.

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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