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COVID-19 death toll rises locally

The local death toll from COVID-19 continued to climb locally as three adults succumbed last week due to medical complications associated with the virus.

Albemarle Regional Health Services (ARHS) reported one death each in Bertie, Gates, and Hertford counties during the week of Sept. 26 – Oct. 1.

The deaths in Bertie and Gates counties involved individuals in the 25-49 age range. The death in Hertford County was in the 50-64 age range.

The addition of these three individuals raised the death toll in the Roanoke-Chowan area to 204 since the pandemic began in March of last year. Seventy-one of those deaths have occurred in Northampton County followed by Hertford County (69), Bertie County (49), and Gates County (15).

Meanwhile, the number of active cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in all four local counties last week were as follows:

Northampton County: 89 (a decrease of 29 cases from the previous week)

Hertford County: 50 (-20)

Gates County: 27 (an increase of five cases from the previous week); and

Bertie County: 54 (+1)

“We are seeing younger and younger populations suffer from this virus. If you have not received your vaccine yet, please make your appointment as soon as possible,” said ARHS Health Director R. Battle Betts Jr. “We urge everyone 12 and older to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to continue to practice the 3Ws – wear a mask, wait six feet apart and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to protect yourself and others.”

Betts added the nearly 91 percent of newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the region are among those not fully vaccinated.

He said that booster doses of those previously vaccinated with the Pfizer shots are now available for certain groups of individuals to help extend the protection of the vaccine against severe illness.

“If you are eligible to receive a booster dose of Pfizer, please do so,” Betts suggested. “In addition, the CDC strongly recommends the COVID- 19 vaccination either before or during pregnancy to prevent serious illness, deaths, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Pregnancy during a pandemic is an added concern for families. We highly encourage those who are pregnant or considering pregnancy to talk with their healthcare provider about the protective benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine to keep their babies and themselves safe.”

Those eligible to receive a Pfizer booster shot should bring their vaccine cards with them.

ARHS is continuing to accept vaccine appointments (ages 12-and-up) for first and second dose Moderna and Pfizer, along with Johnson and Johnson, at each of its local health departments. 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.

In its surveillance report from Oct. 1, ARHS listed a total of 504 active COVID-19 cases in the region, a decrease of 116 cases from the previous week. The majority of those cases impacted two age groups: 25-to-49 (29.84%) and 0-to-17 (25.32%).

 

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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