CARTERET COUNTY — COVID-related hospitalizations at Carteret Health Care in Morehead City have reached their highest number since the start of the pandemic, with 23 patients reportedly at the facility for treatment as of Monday afternoon.
The number surpasses the previous record high of 20 hospitalizations originally set in January and reached again earlier this month. The hospital, at 3500 Arendell St. in Morehead City, announced it is further tightening visitation restrictions beginning Wednesday, with inpatients and others restricted to one healthy, adult visitor for the duration of their stay.
Meanwhile, health officials reported 88 new COVID-19 cases in Carteret County Monday, bringing the overall total to 5,907 cases confirmed since March 2020. The number of active cases dropped slightly from Friday, from 264 reported then to 261 active cases Monday. Recovered cases increased to 5,494 as of Monday and deaths remain at 60.
Nick Wilson, public information officer for the county, said the health department is attempting to track breakthrough cases –– those that occur in individuals who are fully vaccinated –– but the task has proven difficult.
“We have a great working relationship with the hospital and they are helping us capture this data; however, fully vaccinated individuals that test positive for COVID-19 and don’t go to the hospital or see their physician are not being captured,” Mr. Wilson said. “Also, providers who report positive lab results to our staff may or may not report vaccination status – it is not required by state. Health officials have contacted our state consultant to see if she and/or the state can assist with capturing this data.”
The health department continues to offer the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge to anyone 12 years of age or older who hasn’t yet received it. To make an appointment, contact 252-728-8550, option 2, or find other providers at myspot.nc.gov.
Reporter's note: This article was updated at 5:26 p.m. Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, to correct a typo.