In Carteret County, hospitalizations on the rise again headed into new week

This map of Carteret County, broken out by postal code, shows current active cases of COVID-19 as reported by the County Health Department Monday. (Carteret County map)

CARTERET COUNTY — Active cases of COVID-19 in Carteret County fell over the weekend, though 45 new cases were confirmed by health officials and local hospitalizations are on the rise once more.

Friday, officials reported Carteret Health Care’s lowest number of COVID-related hospitalizations since early August, at nine. The respite didn’t last however, and Monday the Carteret County Health Department reported 12 hospitalizations at the medical facility in Morehead City. Of those, two-thirds, or eight individuals, are reportedly not fully vaccinated.

The hospital reached a record-high COVID patient census Aug. 19, with 27 being treated.

Active cases fell by 40 over the weekend, according to Monday’s report, with 179 of such known cases in the area and 45 new confirmed infections. Since the onset of the pandemic, county officials have counted 8,178 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Deaths from the virus remain at 83 as of Monday, with the latest included in Friday’s report.

Carteret County is largely holding steady with the state in terms of the vaccination rate, with the county at 52% vaccinated and the state at 54%. As for those with at least a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine, Carteret County is trailing the state by 2% at 56%.

As for the positivity rate – determined by the number of positive cases over the total number of tests – the county is reporting higher than the state’s 7.5% rate at 8.8% The metric is key for a number of reasons, including that it is being used as the benchmark for the Carteret County Board of Education to institute a mask-optional policy in public schools.