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150th COVID-19 death reported, new cases added in Burke
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150th COVID-19 death reported, new cases added in Burke

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COVID-19

The third death from COVID-19 this week was reported on Friday, bringing Burke County’s death toll from the virus to 150 people.

The county also added 55 new cases of the virus since Monday.

The Burke County Health Department reported the 150th COVID-19-related death on Friday.

The person was in their 60s and had been hospitalized but later died from COVID-19 medical complications, the department said.

“We want to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this individual,” said Burke County Health Director Rebecca McLeod. “Getting vaccinated is only one tool to use against this virus but it is still very important to keep up the preventive measures with the 3 W’s to help slow the spread of this virus. We are encouraging as many residents as possible to consider taking the vaccine to help prevent any further spikes of the virus within our community. We are still asking residents to please stay at home when they are sick with any symptoms and not visit family, friends, events, etc. to reduce the chance of passing COVID-19 and other infections.”

The Burke County Health Department reported a total of 9,825 cases Friday, up from 9,770 cases on Monday.

The county’s COVID-19 dashboard has not been updated since Tuesday. Its next update is expected on Monday, according to the health department.

The Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge dashboard showed five people hospitalized on Friday due to the virus, with another 22 people in the health system’s COVID-19 virtual hospital.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,509 new cases of the virus on Friday, with 977 people currently hospitalized throughout the state. The state has reported 12,298 deaths since the virus entered the state a year ago.

NCDHHS also reported Friday that 40% of the state’s adult population are at least partially vaccinated, while 28.4% of the population in the state are fully vaccinated against the virus.

In Burke County, 17,005 people (18.8% of the population) are fully vaccinated, while 22,871 people (25.3% of the population) are partially vaccinated against the virus.

Vaccines and clinics

COVID-19 vaccines were created to prevent people from dying from the virus or keep them from becoming so sick they have to be hospitalized, say health officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vaccines work with the immune system so the body will be ready to fight the virus if the person is exposed to it.

With dish soap, brushes and plastic water jugs in hand, Carole Rae Woodmansee's four children cleaned the gravestone their mother shares with their father, Jim. Carole passed away on her 81st birthday. That morning marked a year since she died of complications of COVID-19 after contracting it during a choir practice that sickened 53 people and killed two - a superspreader event that would become one of the most pivotal transmission episodes in understanding the virus.

The Burke County Health Department plans to hold two large vaccination clinics this week at Freedom High School. The school is located at 511 Independence Blvd., Morganton.

The clinic set for Thursday will be for the Moderna vaccine for those 18 years and older.

The clinic set for Saturday will be for the Pfizer vaccine for those 16 years old or older. To schedule an appointment for a vaccine, call 828-358-4454 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday or schedule online at www.chsbr.org/vaccine.

The health department says an individual making an appointment for one of the vaccine clinics does not have to be a resident of Burke County. The vaccine is free and no insurance or identification is required, the health department says.

In addition to the health department and Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, vaccines can be administered by:

Ingles Pharmacy at the store on Carbon City Road in Morganton also is now offering the vaccine. To make an appointment, visit www.ingles-markets.com/vaccinations/main.php.

Morganton Drug is offering vaccines by calling 828-433-6353.

Table Rock Pharmacy is offering the COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments can be made online at https://burkecovid.as.me/schedule.php. Those who do not have access to the internet can leave a message at 828-414-8025.

East Burke Pharmacy is accepting vaccination appointments at https://bit.ly/3bPi4cf.

Walgreens also is vaccinating members of the public, and appointments can be scheduled at www.walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19. Walk-ins will not be accepted.

Burke Primary Care in Morganton—Phone number is 828-437-4211

Cannon Pharmacy in Morganton—Phone number is 828-433-5120

Rock Drug Store in Valdese—Phone number is 828-879-9812

Drexel Discount Drug in Drexel—Phone number is 828-433-6777

Good Samaritan Clinic in Morganton—Phone number is 828-212-4185

High Country Community Health-East Burke in Connelly Spring—Phone number is 828-874-2061

High Country Community Health—Burke in Morganton—Phone number is 828-608-0800

Morganton Drug, Inc. in Morganton—Phone number is 828-433-6353

Bio Medical Applications of North Carolina Inc. BMA of Burke County for clients only

Outbreaks and clusters

NCDHHS every Tuesday and Friday updates its list of outbreaks and clusters in the state.

Numbers listed are preliminary and can change, either increasing or decreasing, as cases are further investigated, NCDHHS has said.

The latest outbreak list released Friday for Burke includes:

Grace Heights Health and Rehabilitation in Morganton remained at a total of 17 cases, with six residents and 11 staff members infected. The facility has reported one death since being put back on the list of outbreaks.

College Pines Health and Rehabilitation in Rutherford College remained at a total of 142 cases, with 87 residents and 55 staff members infected. The facility has had 20 residents die from the virus.

J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center remained at a total of 203 cases, with 39 residents and 164 staff members infected.

The health department is reminding people that even though someone receives the COVID-19 vaccine, they will still need to practice the three W’s—Wear a mask, Wait 6 feet apart and Wash hands frequently—for a while until more people receive the vaccine.

Anyone with questions about COVID-19 can call 828-764-9150. The line is answered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If a call is made after hours, on the weekends or on holidays, the caller should leave a message and the call will be returned.

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