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Another death, more cases added to Burke's COVID-19 totals
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Another death, more cases added to Burke's COVID-19 totals

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Burke County has lost another resident to COVID-19 and the county added 43 new cases over two days.

The Burke County Health Department said it was notified on Saturday of the 138th COVID-19-related death in the county. The department said the person was in their 80s and had been hospitalized but later died from COVID-19 medical complications.

“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.”

The health department also reported a total of 9,332 cases on Saturday and a total of 9,314 cases on Friday, up from 9,289 cases on Thursday.

The Burke County COVID-19 dashboard, which lags behind the health department’s daily briefing, showed 691 active cases on Friday and Saturday. It showed 11 people in the county are currently hospitalized due to the virus.

Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge’s online COVID-19 dashboard was not updated on Friday or Saturday.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,708 people in the state were hospitalized due to the virus on Saturday. It reported 3,446 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 840,096 cases and a daily percent positive rate of 5.7%.

The state has reported a total of 10,896 deaths on Saturday, up from 10,820 deaths from the virus on Friday.

NCDHHS also updated its lists of clusters and outbreaks in the state on Friday, including Burke County. Carolina Rehab of Burke in Icard was put on the list of outbreaks the state considers over.

Those latest outbreak list includes:

  • Freedom High School still has an outbreak of seven cases, with six of which are students and one is a staff member.
  • Magnolia Lane Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has a total of two cases in staff members.
  • McAlpine Adult Care has a total of 10 cases, with six residents and four staff members infected with the virus.
  • Morganton Long Term Care, Southview Facility still has a total of 13 cases, with 12 residents and one staff member infected. The facility has reported one resident has died from the virus.
  • Autumn Care of Drexel has 39 cases, with 27 residents and 12 staff members infected with the virus. Ten residents have died at the facility from the virus.
  • Jonas Ridge Adult Care still has a total of 13 cases, with eight residents and five staff members infected with the virus. The facility has reported two resident deaths from the virus.
  • Grace Heights Health and Rehabilitation still has a total of 14 cases, with six residents and eight staff members infected. It has reported one resident death due to the virus.
  • College Pines Health and Rehabilitation in Rutherford College has a total of 131 cases, with 82 residents and 49 staff members infected. The facility has had 18 residents die from the virus.
  • The Berkeley - Assisted Living & Memory Care remains at seven total cases, with two residents and five staff members infected. It has had one resident die from the virus.
  • J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center has a total of 152 cases, with 34 residents and 118 staff members infected.

As for COVID-19 vaccines, in Burke County 11,486 people have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 5,828 residents have received the second dose, according to the state.

The current vaccination priority group include health care workers and those 65 years old or older.

On Wednesday, teachers and school staff will be able to start getting vaccinated. On March 10, other frontline essential workers can receive a vaccination.

Carolinas HeathCare System Blue Ridge officials said last week’s winter storms across the country have caused vaccine delays.

A first-dose vaccine clinic for those in the current priority group has been rescheduled in Burke County for this week.

NCDHHS said Thursday it was notified by the federal government of continued delays in some shipments and deliveries of vaccine during the week due to the severe weather. Both first and second dose shipments were impacted, it said.

The department said Moderna vaccines had not been shipped and only a limited number of Pfizer vaccines had been shipped. Both Pfizer and Moderna have a backlog of orders due to weather, it said. 

On Friday, the state said the federal government notified impacted states that vaccine shipments are expected to resume the beginning of the week.

It said North Carolina vaccines scheduled to arrive on Feb.16 and 17, but were not shipped, are now scheduled to arrive between Feb. 22 and 24. Allocations for the next week are also expected to arrive during the same time period, according to the state. Typically, providers receive COVID-19 vaccine shipments of first doses on Tuesday and Wednesday and shipments of second doses on Thursday and Friday, the state said.

NCDHHS advised providers to assess current appointments and notify recipients accordingly based on on-hand vaccine supplies, the department said. 

Walgreens also has started vaccinations for priority groups. It is receiving doses directly from the federal government.

Visit to schedule an appointment at Walgreens. No walk-ins will be accepted.

Those in the current priority group can call the Community Vaccine Call Center on Monday to check for appointment availability. The call center is open Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the number is 828-358-4454.

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