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New cases, outbreak of COVID-19 reported
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New cases, outbreak of COVID-19 reported

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Burke County has added 134 new COVID-19 cases since Monday, and a new outbreak at a nursing home was reported this week.

A key committee of the International Monetary Fund says the coronavirus pandemic has worsened global poverty and inequality, and it is urging "immediate action to achieve universal vaccination."

The Burke County COVID-19 dashboard showed a total of 15,767 cases on Thursday, up from 15,633 cases on Monday, and 603 active cases.

UNC Health Blue Ridge reported 32 COVID-19 patients in the hospital on Thursday, with 11 of those in the intensive care unit. All 11 in the ICU are unvaccinated, according to the health care system’s COVID-19 dashboard. It also reported seven COVID patients on ventilators, all of whom are unvaccinated.

The dashboard shows 113 patients in its virtual COVID-19 hospital.

The county has reported a total of 246 deaths from the virus.

The state’s list of outbreaks and clusters at schools, day cares and congregate living facilities was updated Tuesday.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported an outbreak at Carolina Rehab of Burke in Icard with one resident death and 11 residents infected with the virus.

The clusters at Patton High School, Salem Elementary School and East Burke High School are now considered over, according to the state’s schools cluster list.

The following outbreaks in Burke County remain ongoing, according to NCDHHS:

George Hildebrand Elementary School has seven students infected.

Ray Childers Elementary School has five students infected.

Heritage Middle School has a cluster with 12 students and a staff member infected.

Table Rock Middle School I has a cluster of seven students infected.

Table Rock Middle School II has a cluster of 12 students and two staff members infected.

Burke Long Term Care in Morganton has a total of six residents infected with the virus.

Autumn Care of Drexel has a total of 20 people infected, with 16 cases among staff members and four cases among residents.

Grace Ridge remains at one staff member and five residents infected with the virus.

Cambridge House in Hildebran remains at one staff member and 10 residents infected.

Grace Heights Health and Rehabilitation in Morganton remains at six total cases, with two cases in residents and four staff members infected.

College Pines Health and Rehabilitation in Rutherford College saw its virus cases increase to a total of 35, up from 17 cases reported last week, with 16 cases in staff members and 19 cases in residents, NCDHHS reported.

J. Iverson Riddle Development Center in Morganton remains at 10 cases in staff members but no cases among residents so far.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety reported two active cases of the virus among inmates at Foothills Correctional Institution.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 3,761 new cases with a daily percent positive rate of 5.9% and 2,208 people hospitalized throughout the state on Thursday. So far, 17,410 people in North Carolina have lost their lives to COVID-19.

The Burke County Health Department said earlier this week that residents must remain vigilant, encouraging them to get a COVID-19 vaccine if they have not already done so, wear a mask in areas of high transmission, get tested if they have an exposure or are experiencing symptoms, practice good handwashing and staying home if they are sick.

The state reported 70% of the adult population in the state has had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 65% are fully vaccinated.

Booster shots are currently available for people who received their second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago. Booster shots are for people who are 65 and over, have a high-risk medical condition, work in higher risk settings or live or work in a place where many people work together, NCDHHS said.

The Burke County Health Department is offering Pfizer booster doses to the recommended populations. The booster doses are for:

People 65 years of age and older and residents in long-term care settings

People 18-64 who have underlying health conditions that could increase their risk for severe COVID-19 or who work or live in a facility where they are at an increased risk for exposure to COVID-19 or come in contact with individuals whose vaccination status is unknown.

First responders, education staff, food and agricultural workers, manufacturing workers, correction workers, U.S Postal Service workers, public transit workers and grocery store workers.

The health department is administering COVID-19 vaccines every Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Anyone interested in a booster shot who falls in one of the recommended categories can call the health department’s main line at 828-764-9150 to schedule an appointment, or visit to find other vaccine locations.

For general questions about COVID-19, contact the Burke County Public Information line at 828-764-9150 or visit the COVID-19 webpage at

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