Burke County added nearly 250 new cases of COVID-19 over two days.
And state health officials say the state is setting new COVID-19 records, with more than 11,500 new cases on Saturday.
The Burke County Health Department reported 7,312 total cases on Saturday and 7,178 total cases on Friday, up from 7,070 on Thursday.
The Burke County COVID-19 dashboard showed on Saturday there are 1,641 active cases, with 30 people currently hospitalized due to the virus. The county has previously reported 88 deaths.
Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge COVID-19 dashboard showed 33 hospitalized due to COVID-19 with six in the intensive care unit. It shows the hospital has 10% of its staffed beds available with a total of 102 patients in the facility.
The health care system’s dashboard also shows 294 COVID-19 patients are in the hospital system’s virtual hospital.
The county health department said the reason for the high number of cases is due to holidays gatherings and travel.
The Burke County Health Department has said it is being inundated with calls and emails from people asking about a COVID-19 vaccine and has said there is no need for people to continue calling the health department to ask about vaccine or to make an appointment. It said the department will be pushing out information about the next group of vaccinations as soon as Phase 1a is finished and it receives additional vaccine doses.
The health department said a list of the priority groups as they stand right now from NCDHHS, any other information about the COVID-19 vaccine schedule from the state and vaccination clinics as they get scheduled will be posted on the Burke County COVID-19 webpage at www.burkenc.org/COVID-19 to the left under the COVID-19 Vaccine Schedule.
The department said both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require individuals to receive two shots. Pfizer will be two shots given 21 days apart and Moderna will be two shots given 28 days apart and those getting vaccinated have to get both shots to get the maximum protection.
“We appreciate your patience as we try to vaccinate those eligible and interested as fast as possible,” the department’s Friday briefing said.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services showed that as of Friday, 1,481 people in Burke County have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 184 completing the vaccine series.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updated its list of outbreaks at schools and congregate living facilities on Friday.
The following outbreaks in Burke County were included in the update of the list:
- Valdese Elementary School remains on the list with three children and three staff members infected.
- Icard Elementary School in Icard has five staff members who have been infected with the virus.
- Hildebran Elementary School in Hildebran remains on the list with five staff members infected with the virus.
- Christ Classical Academy in Rutherford College remains on the list with a total of eight cases, with seven children and one staff member being infected.
- Autumn Care of Drexel has a total of 12 cases, with three residents and nine staff members infected.
- Jonas Ridge Adult Care remains at two staff members infected with the virus.
- Grace Heights Health and Rehabilitation has six total cases, with one resident and five staff members infected.
- College Pines Health and Rehabilitation in Rutherford College has had a total of 124 cases, with 77 residents and 47 staff members infected. The facility has had 17 residents, up from 15 residents on Tuesday, die from the virus.
- Carolina Rehab of Burke in Icard had a total of 41 cases on Friday, with 33 residents and eight staff members infected, and has had three residents die. The facility’s website on Friday showed that it doesn’t have any current cases of the virus in residents but it does have one staff member currently infected. It lists a total of 99 resident cases and a total of 55 staff cases since May 1.
- Grace Ridge Retirement Community in Morganton still has a total of four cases, with one resident and three staff members infected.
- Magnolia Lane Nursing and Rehab Center in Morganton has remained at a total of 48 cases, with 29 residents and 19 staff members infected.
- The Berkeley - Assisted Living & Memory Care remain 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 seen its total increase to 118 on Friday, up from 107 cases on Tuesday. The total includes 28 residents, up from 26 on Tuesday, and 90 staff members, up from 81 on Tuesday, infected.
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety reported on Friday that Foothills Correctional Institution had 13 active cases of inmates at the facility.
Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, said during a briefing on Friday that the state continues to set new records with COVID-19.
“In the 10 months that we’ve been fighting this pandemic, this is the most worried that I’ve been for our state,” Cohen said.
She said the state reported more than 10,000 new cases both on Thursday and Friday and tests that are positive remain in the double digits.
Cohen said the state is seeing a record high of hospitalizations and those needing intensive care. She said many hospitals have stopped non-urgent care to free up staff or have opened additional space for COVID patients.
Cohen said the secretarial directive says people should stay at home, leaving only for essential needs such as food or for activities such as work or health care. The directive also says people shouldn’t have others over indoors who do not live with them and people should always wear a mask and keep their distance.
As for vaccine, she said supplies are limited. She talked about the safety of the vaccines during the briefing, saying they are 95% effective against COVID-19. But it will take many months to vaccinate everyone so people should continue to wear a mask, she said.
NCDHHS reported on Saturday 11,581 new COVID-19 cases and a total of 7,425 deaths, up from 7,328 deaths on Friday. It reported there were 3,871 people hospitalized on Saturday due to the virus.
Gov. Roy Cooper during a briefing this week said he was extending his latest stay-at-home order for three weeks.
The order requires people to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Gathering limits restrict indoor gatherings to no more than 10 people and outdoor gatherings to no more than 50 people. At any gathering, people must maintain 6 feet of distance between each other.
For local questions about COVID-19, call 828-764-9150. The line is answered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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.