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COVID-19 cases increasing across region

Across northeastern North Carolina, active COVID-19 cases are trending upward.

From Monday, Aug. 23 to Friday, Aug. 27, Dare County reported a total number 267 new cases of coronavirus.

On Monday, Aug. 31, Dare County COVID-19 dashboard reported 157 residents in home isolation, an increase of 18 since Monday. Ten people are now hospitalized, an increase of three from Monday, Aug. 30. The county reported two recent deaths attributed to the coronavirus, bringing the Dare County total deaths from the start of the pandemic to 17. The last death was reported Monday. New lab-confirmed cases numbered 103 on the same day and 51 on Tuesday, Aug. 31.

Dare County specimens to test for variants are included in regional data released by Vidant Medical. In the COVID-19 weekly report released Aug. 24 by Vidant Medical, the Delta variant was present in 100% of specimens sequenced, which totaled 92.

In Hyde County, the numbers of active COVID-19 cases have fluctuated during August, reaching a high of 36 on Aug. 27. A week earlier, two active cases were reported. On Aug. 13, 11 new cases were catalogued, followed by five cases on Aug. 6. The number of deaths from coronavirus in Hyde County have not increased through Aug. 27 and remain at 10.

In Tyrrell County, on Aug. 30, some 39 cases were active, including seven new ones. On Aug. 9, four were active; on Aug. 4, the number of active cases was seven with one new one registered.

Tyrrell County deaths due to coronavirus number six people. Deaths did not increase between Aug. 4 and Aug. 30.

In Currituck County, active COVID-19 cases on Aug. 27 numbered 87; on July 30, the number of cases was 40.

In Camden County, active COVID 19 cases on Aug. 27 numbered 35; on July 30, the number of cases was eight.

In Pasquotank County, active COVID-19 cases on Aug. 27 numbered 93; on July 30, the number of cases was 23.

In Camden and Currituck counties, one more person in each county died of coronavirus between July 30 and Aug. 27.

Counties and regional health services continue to urge those 12 and over to make an appointment for virus vaccination. Percentages of total population now vaccinated in this region’s counties are, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard:

Dare: one shot, 68%; fully, 63%. For additional information about vaccination, call the Dare County COVID-19 call center Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 252-475-5008.

Tyrrell: one shot, 44%; fully, 39%. Said Wes Gray with the Martin-Tyrrell-Washington Health District, “the best way to protect yourself is through vaccination. Patients can schedule an appointment for a free COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer for 12 and older, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna for 18 and older) at any of our clinics in Plymouth, Williamston and Columbia by calling 252-793-3023.”

Albemarle Regional Health Service provides services in an eight-county region. “We continue to see our case counts increase at levels similar if not exceeding the first wave,” said R. Battle Betts Jr., ARHS health director. “As you will see in our surveillance report, there is a definite shift in the age ranges of those impacted in this wave and we are seeing first-hand in our regional data how vaccinated individuals have a much higher level of protection. Over 70% of all new cases are in individuals 49 and younger. The time to get vaccinated is now – call us today to schedule your appointment.” Included in that health service distric with percentages of vaccination for total population are:

Currituck: one shot, 39%; fully, 35%

Camden: one shot, 41%; fully, 38%

Pasquotank: one shot, 47%; fully, 41%

Like Dare County, Hyde County has its own health department. As of Aug. 30, Hyde residents receiving one shot of vaccine are 62% of the total population and those fully vaccinated represent 57% of the total population.

Hyde health director Luana Gibbs comments: “obviously, we do not all agree on every aspect of public health. But we should all agree on the importance of protecting one another. Let’s practice humility while respecting one another, and do the best we can to protect each other.”

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