Carteret County’s COVID death toll rises to 87 Thursday

This map of Carteret County shows active cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday afternoon, organized by zip code. (Carteret County map)

CARTERET COUNTY — The Carteret County Health Department announced Thursday it received another report of a confirmed COVID-19 death of a county resident Thursday, bringing the overall death toll to 87 since the pandemic began.

The resident who died was in their 50s and had underlying health conditions, according to a Thursday afternoon release from the health department. Three other COVID deaths were reported Tuesday.

“We are saddened to report another death today,” County Health Director Nina Oliver said in the release. “We offer our sincere condolences to the family of the lost loved one.”

Meanwhile, the health department reported seven new cases of COVID-19 in Carteret County Thursday, one of the smallest single-day increases in cases seen in several months. The new cases bring the overall total to 8,237, of which 167 are considered active cases and 7,983 are recovered. Active cases are down from Wednesday when health officials reported 192.

Carteret Health Care in Morehead City reported 13 COVID hospitalizations Thursday, down from 15 reported Wednesday. Of those, all but one patient are reportedly not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

While the state of North Carolina’s percentage positivity rate for COVID-19 tests has fallen sharply in recent weeks to reach 5.9% Thursday, Carteret’s rate remains higher at 8.2%. Test positivity is an important metric because the Carteret County Board of Education set a threshold of 5% test positivity for making masks optional inside public schools.