Friday, 14 January 2022 23:02

Richmond County Health Department reports COVID death, more than 150 new cases

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Richmond County Health Department reports COVID death, more than 150 new cases Pixabay

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County’s COVID case count and death toll continue to rise as the virus spreads among the population.

According to the abbreviated update from the Richmond County Health Department on Friday, the COVID-related death toll rose to 165.

The latest death makes the sixth reported in 2022.

Health Director Cheryl Speight said Thursday that the department would no longer issue press releases for COVID-related deaths, so no other details are available.

The Health Department also reported 158 new cases, bringing the pandemic total to 9,414 since the first was reported in April of 2020.

There have been 1,683 county residents to test positive since Dec. 31, including more than 1,000 since last Saturday.

Richmond County Schools reported 42 new cases on its COVID Tracker Friday.

Of those, 32 were in 12 of the district’s 15 schools:

  • 15 - Richmond Senior High School
  • 3 - Fairview Heights and Washington Street Elementary
  • 2 - Mineral Springs and Monroe Avenue Elementary
  • 1 - East Rockingham and L.J. Bell Elementary; Cordova, Ellerbe and Hamlet Middle; Ashley Chapel Educational Center; and Richmond Early College High School.

So far this school year, there have been 810 students to test positive, including 199 at Richmond Senior, 90 at the Ninth Grade Academy and 60 each at Washington Street Elementary and Rockingham Middle.

RCS also reported 10 new staff-related cases: two each at Fairview Heights and Richmond Senior; and one each at L.J. Bell, Monroe Avenue, Cordova and Ellerbe Middle, REaCH and Central Services.

The number of staff-related cases now totals 201, including 26 at Richmond Senior and 21 at Fairview Heights.

Cases continue to climb across the state, with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reporting a new record high of 35,759. Daily case numbers have risen sharply since after Christmas, with more than 10,000 cases reported daily since Dec. 30.

Just prior to the recent surge, daily counts had dipped below 2,000.

COVID-related hospitalizations also set a new record high of 4,381 on Thursday.

FirstHealth reported on Friday that 106 of its 446 patients (23.8%) were COVID-positive.

According to NCDHHS, 20,788 residents of Richmond County are fully vaccinated and 7,881 have received a booster.

The federal government announced that ordering for free at-home COVID test kits begins Jan. 19. Each home can order up to four and there will be no shipping costs.

Vaccinations are available at the Health Department and testing is being done behind the department. Additional drive-thru testing is available in the parking lot of Cole Auditorium.