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Burke County reports another COVID-19-related death
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Burke County reports another COVID-19-related death

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COVID-19

Another person has died due to COVID-19 in Burke County.

And for those who still want a COVID-19 vaccine, two large clinics are scheduled for next week.

The Burke County Health Department said it was notified of the 149th COVID-19-related death on Thursday.

It said the person was in their 70s and had been hospitalized because of the virus 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. “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 Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge dashboard showed Thursday it has five COVID-19 patients in its hospital, with none of them in the intensive care unit. It showed 22 in its COVID-19 virtual hospital.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,087 new virus cases throughout the state Thursday for a total of 926,897 total cases since the virus entered the state. Of that total number of cases, 887,724 of them have recovered, the department reported Monday.

As the COVID pandemic killed more than a half-million Americans, it also quietly inflamed what was before it the country's greatest public health crisis: addiction.

NCDHHS also reported 1,004 people are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 and 12,224 people have died due to the virus.

As of Thursday, 16,872 people in Burke County (18.6%) are fully vaccinated against the virus, while another 22,620 (25%) are partially vaccinated, according to NCDHHS.

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.

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. Lisa Moore, public information officer for the health department, said on Wednesday there are 720 appointments available.

The clinic set for Saturday, April 17, will be for the Pfzer vaccine for those 16 years old or older. Moore said there are 1,800 appointments available for the clinic.

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.

Lisa Moore, public information officer for the health department, 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.

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

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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