LUMBERTON — Less than 50 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the past week by the Robeson County Health Department, another sign of improvement as the pandemic’s impact continues to lessen.
There were 47 new cases reported by the Health Department between May 22 and Thursday, the department’s most recent report. This is 7.8 cases per day, down from the 11.4 cases per day between May 15 and May 21, when there were 80 cases reported.
Through the duration of the pandemic there have been 16,998 COVID-19 cases reported in Robeson County.
There was one virus-related death reported in the county between May 22 and Thursday, down from three deaths for the period May 15-21. This brings the county’s pandemic death toll to 242.
Robeson County’s testing positivity rate this week was 2.8%, according to county Health Department Director Bill Smith, well below the 5% goal.
There have been 33,160 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in Robeson County and 28,953 second doses, according to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services statistics as of noon Friday.
While face covering mandates have been lifted, Smith reiterates the importance of nonvaccinated individuals continuing to wear face coverings and practicing social distancing.
“Only people fully vaccinated are protected from the coronavirus. Unvaccinated individuals should mask while indoors or if social distancing cannot occur outdoors,” Smith said. “Several stores locally have this message properly posted at the entrance to their establishment. Clearly there is a difference in protection levels between being vaccinated and being unvaccinated, thus the need for masking to help even this out.
“However, no matter how vigilant one is for masking and distancing, encountering someone carrying the virus can happen at any point. By getting vaccinated, it lessens the chance of a bad outcome. Vaccine is available countywide for ages 12 and up.”
Nationwide, 0.01% of the vaccinated population developed severe COVID-19 symptoms after vaccination, according to Smith. That is 1 in 10,000 people, so with Robeson County’s vaccination rate that would be about three people in the county.
“That is a remarkably low number,” Smith said. “At a minimum it is one less excuse to get vaccinated.”
UNC Health Southeastern reports seven virus-positive patients in isolation at its medical center as of 11 a.m. Friday, up from three on May 21. There is one potential positive under investigation. Two employees are under quarantine because of possible exposure to the virus, down from three on May 21.
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke reported three new cases among its student body on campus between May 21 and Friday, with no new cases among faculty and staff or subcontractors.
There are six active student cases at UNCP. For the spring semester, there have been 82 student cases, 28 among faculty and staff, and eight among subcontractors.
In North Carolina, the state surpassed the 1-million case mark on Thursday. There have been 1,001,154 cases of COVID-19 reported in the state. This includes 5,400 new cases between May 22 and Friday, down from 6,416 cases between May 15 and May 21.
There were 120 virus-related deaths reported statewide between May 22 and Friday, up from 96 for the period May 15-21. There have been 3,078 virus-related deaths in North Carolina during the pandemic.
There are 694 virus-related hospitalizations statewide, down from 763 on May 21.
The NCDHHS reports 3,267,721 first doses of the vaccine have been administered in the state and 3,003,311 second doses.