Thursday, 20 January 2022 16:36

Richmond County Health Department cancels COVID testing for Friday; more than 130 new cases reported in school system

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Richmond County Health Department cancels COVID testing for Friday; more than 130 new cases reported in school system RO file photo

ROCKINGHAM — With the threat of inclement weather, the Richmond County Health Department announced that it would not be conducting drive-thru COVID testing on Friday.

Testing will be halted both behind the Health Department in Rockingham and in the parking lot of Cole Auditorium in Hamlet.

Hours for Saturday will be later determined, depending on the weather.

The National Weather Service is predicting up to 2 inches of snow east of U.S. 1 and less than an inch of snow west of the highway.

The Health Department reported 115 new cases on Thursday, bringing the pandemic total to 10,560. There have been 2,598 new cases reported since Dec. 30.

Richmond County Schools showed nearly 140 new school-related cases on its COVID Tracker.

That total includes 116 students at all but one of the district’s 15 schools:

  • 29 - Richmond Senior High
  • 27 - Rockingham Middle
  • 13 - L.J. Bell
  • 10 - Ninth Grade Academy
  • 8 - West Rockingham Elementary
  • 7 - Hamlet Middle
  • 5 - East Rockingham Elementary
  • 4 - Fairview Heights, Washington Street Elementary
  • 3 - Ellerbe Middle
  • 2 - Monroe Avenue, Richmond Early College High School
  • 1 - Cordova Middle, Ashley Chapel Educational Center

RCS also reported 22 cases among staff:

  • 6 - West Rockingham 
  • 5 - Rockingham Middle
  • 2- L.J. Bell, Washington Street Elementary; Richmond Senior
  • 1 - Fairview Heights, Monroe Avenue Elementary; Hamlet Middle; Ashley Chapel; Central Services

Since the school year began in August, there have been 1,052 students to test positive for COVID-19. Twenty-four percent of those have been at Richmond Senior. NGA is the only other school to top 100 cases, with 124.

Ashley Chapel, which has had nine, is the only school with fewer than 25 total cases.

Richmond Senior also tops the staff list with 31, followed by Fairview Heights with 27. There have been a total of 250 staff-related cases.

Based on previous reports, 557 students and 128 staff members have tested positive since Jan. 4.

Statewide positive test results increased by more than 10,000 from the previous day to 29,580, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

The state has recorded more than 10,000 cases each day since Dec. 30, with every day except Jan. 4 exceeding the previous record of 11,581 set in January of 2021.

COVID-related hospitalizations in the state continue to set record highs, reaching 4,741 on Wednesday.

FirstHealth had not updated its statistics on Thursday.

The federal government began taking orders for home COVID testing kits on Wednesday. Each family is eligible for four free kits by ordering at

President Joe Biden has said that a billion tests will be made available.

The tests are expected to be shipped in seven to 12 days from ordering.

NCDHHS also announced earlier on Thursday that Medicaid recipients can pick up free tests from their pharmacy of choice.

Records with NCDHHS show that 20,848 Richmond County residents are fully vaccinated and more than 8,000 have gotten boosters.