Health director reports continued decline in COVID cases in Carteret County

Carteret County Health Department officials reported Monday there continues to be a steady decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in the county. (Cheryl Burke photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — Carteret County Health Department Director Nina Oliver reported Monday COVID-19 cases continue to decline in the county, which is welcome news.

“Our numbers and percent positive rates are lower than we’ve seen in a long time,” she said during the County Consolidated Human Services Board meeting, held via Zoom. “All metrics are decreasing, which is excellent. We are very pleased.”

She added that the same trends are being seen across the state.

As of Tuesday, there were 77 positive COVID-19 cases in the county, down from 78 Monday and 111 Friday.

She also pointed to the decrease in the percentage of those testing positive in all age groups. She said the week of Sept. 26-Oct. 2, the county’s percent positive rate was 7.6%. It has been decreasing since, with the rate at 4.3% the week of Oct. 17-23. As of Tuesday, the county’s positivity rate was 3.8%, compared to 5.9% for the state. Nearly all cases being reported are still the contagious Delta variant, according to Ms. Oliver.

“The goal is 5% or below, so we are going in the right direction,” she said.

As the rate continues to decline, Ms. Oliver said the health department is now offering COVID-19 vaccinations to children 5 to 11 years of age.

“We will be administering doses on Wednesdays through November,” she said.

Ms. Oliver added that her staff is seeing a decline in the number of those seeking primary or booster COVID-19 vaccinations.

“We continue to offer them on Fridays at the health department, along with flu,” she said. “We are also offering flu vaccine daily through our regular clinics.”

For the month of October, Ms. Oliver said the health department has administered 1,347 COVID-19 vaccines.

As of Tuesday, 54% of the county’s population is fully vaccinated, or 37,506 individuals. That compares to 56% statewide. As for those receiving at least one dose, that stood at 57% Tuesday, or 39,819 people. The percentage of those with at least one dose statewide was 60%.

Ms. Oliver emphasized the best way to avoid getting COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

“Unvaccinated individuals are nearly five times, or 492%, more likely to get COVID-19 as vaccinated individuals,” she said. “Unvaccinated individuals are 20.51 times, or 2,051%, more likely to die of COVID-19 as vaccinated individuals.”

Consolidated Human Services Director Cindy Holman thanked health department staff for persevering through the pandemic.

“I commend the health department staff as they navigate the waters of this COVID-pandemic,” Ms. Holman said. “Planning meetings are called by the health director weekly, and plans are made for the following week. We have had to plan as if the same number and volume of patients would come in as during the original wave of vaccines, never knowing whether that would be the case.”

In other action, the board:

  • Announced the hire of new animal control supervisor Bobby Mangum, who started his new position Monday. He replaces Lauren Anderson, who resigned July 23 to take a position elsewhere.
  • Completed the second and final part of training for board members.
  • Heard updates by health department and County Department of Social Services directors and Ms. Holman.
  • Canceled the December meeting.

Under the consent agenda, the board:

  • Approved accepting an additional $175 in state funds for the breast and cervical cancer program.
  • Approved a special assistance in-home waiting policy.

 

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

(1) comment

rgray

Is there an article reporting cases up tick hours before this reporting a down trend?

Welcome to the discussion.

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