COVID-19 has claimed another life in Burke County.
And two large COVID-19 vaccination clinics have been scheduled for next week in Morganton.
The Burke County Health Department said Wednesday it was notified of the 148th COVID-19-related death in the county.
The person was in their 70s and was hospitalized due to the virus but later died from COVID-19 medical complications, according to the health department.
“We want to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this individual,” said Burke County Health Director Rebecca McLeod. “The health of our residents is a top priority of Public Health and its partners. We continue this battle on all fronts. 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 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.”
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.
Wednesday marked the day the state opened up vaccinations for all adults.
The Burke County Health Department plans to hold two large vaccination clinics next week at Freedom High School. The school is located at 511 Independence Blvd., Morganton.
The clinic set for Thursday, April 15 will be for the Moderna vaccine for those 18 years and older. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Lisa Moore, public information officer for the health department, said there are 720 appointments available.
The clinic set for Saturday, April 17 will be for the Pfizer vaccine for those 16 years old or older. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Moore said there are 1,800 appointments available.
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 chsbr.org/vaccine.
Moore said there are many appointment slots still available for those who are interested in getting the vaccine but haven’t been able to secure an appointment in their respective area.
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.
More and more pharmacies and doctor’s offices in Burke County are receiving vaccines to administer.
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 is now offering the vaccine. To make an appointment, visit 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 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 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
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services updates its list of outbreaks and clusters in the state every Tuesday and Friday.
Numbers listed are preliminary and can change, either increasing or decreasing, as cases are further investigated, the department has said.
The latest outbreak list released Tuesday 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.