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Forsyth daily COVID-19 case count exceeds 100 again with additional related death
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Forsyth daily COVID-19 case count exceeds 100 again with additional related death

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The daily COVID-19 case count surpassed 100 again in Forsyth County with an additional related death reported Wednesday.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported there were 104 cases between noon Tuesday and noon Wednesday.

The 121 cases reported on Nov. 18 represented a six-week high for the Forsyth daily case count.

Forsyth has had 53,624 cases of COVID-19 and 579 related deaths during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, DHHS reported it has added the number of additional/booster doses that have been administered statewide.

As of noon Wednesday, there had been 1.37 million additional/booster doses given.

DHHS said its next COVID-19 dashboard update will be Monday because of the Thanksgiving holiday period.

Forsyth update

Before the delta variant became prevalent locally, Forsyth averaged 14 total new cases per day over a two-week period in mid-to-late July. There were some days with no new cases during that period.

Since early July, the vast majority of the COVID-related deaths have been among unvaccinated individuals, hospital officials say.

There have been deaths among vaccinated people who were immunocompromised or who had other health issues. Many of those individuals were vaccinated when the doses first became available, but had not received a booster shot, Dr. David Priest, an infectious diseases expert with Novant Health Inc., said Tuesday.

“We’re currently caring for about 200 COVID-19 patients across our system,” Priest said.

“In late September, we were caring for 350-400 patients, so our overall numbers remain much lower.”

As of Wednesday’s DHHS report, Forsyth’s average positive test rate was 7.4% over the past 14 days. That’s up from 5.1% on Nov. 15.

Forsyth health director Joshua Swift said Tuesday that the Forsyth positive rate is 8.3% over the past seven days.

“We expect there will be some increase in community spread among those unvaccinated” during the Thanksgiving holiday period, Priest said.

Individuals who are at higher risk “should be surrounded by those fully vaccinated.”

Swift said the department plans to conduct fewer community vaccination events beginning in early 2022, relying more on providing doses during business hours at its 799 N. Highland Ave. facility. The department has conducted more than 100 community vaccination events this year.

“The demand just isn’t there overall, and we can be more efficient doing the vaccinations at the department,” Swift said.

Swift said he would encourage individuals who come down with intense cold- and flu-like symptoms to get tested for COVID-19 since they are similar in nature.

“You may think it is the sniffles or a sinus infection, but it could be COVID and more severe,” Swift said.

Boosters update

DHHS said its additional/booster shot dashboard counts individuals who have received a booster dose since Aug. 13.

That includes anyone who is fully vaccinated and has received another dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, or any dose that has been indicated as an additional or booster dose by the person’s health care provider.

DHHS said the new dashboard metric comes from its COVID-19 Vaccine Management System’s ability to link data within and between the N.C. Providers program and the Federal Pharmacy programs.

“Through this linkage, DHHS can identify which individuals received another dose following their primary series, even if those doses were administered through different programs,” DHHS said..

“Because the CDC’s system does not make this linkage, its total number of additional/booster doses for North Carolina is lower.

Long-term care outbreaks

The largest COVID-19 cluster at any of Forsyth’s long-term care centers is at Oak Forest Health and Rehabilitation, which had two more infected staff members listed in the latest report for a total of 24, while the number of infected residents remained at 13.

The other large COVID-19 clusters currently being counted in Forsyth long-term care centers is Danby House, with nine residents and four staff, and Summerstone Health and Rehab Center, with seven staff and four residents, including one death.

Overall, 12 long-term care centers in Forsyth have currently reported clusters. There are a combined 57 staff members considered infected, along with 41 residents, including one who has died.

For the Triad and Northwest N.C., the largest current cluster at a long-term care facility is at Mountain Vista Health Park in Davidson County, where 41 residents have been infected, including three who have died, and 18 staff members.



Statewide update

DHHS reported 2,318 cases for Tuesday, compared with 1,289 for Monday, 1,383 for Sunday and 1,984 for Saturday.

By comparison, the Nov. 1 case count of 1,096 was the lowest since July 19.

There were 34 COVID-19-related deaths reported statewide between noon Tuesday and noon Wednesday.

Across North Carolina, there have been 1.52 million COVID-19 cases and 18,676 deaths since the pandemic began.

DHHS listed 1,113 COVID-19-related hospitalizations statewide as of noon Wednesday, up one from Tuesday.

Hospitals in the 17-county Triad and Northwest N.C. region reported a combined 335 COVID-19 patients, up 11 from Tuesday.

The statewide positive test rate was 5.9% on Tuesday, down from 7.5% on Monday. The rate was as low as 3.9% as recently as Nov. 4.



Vaccinations

DHHS said 68% of adult North Carolinians are fully vaccinated, or about 5.47 million with the two-dose regimen and 451,024 with the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

As of noon Wednesday, 217,611 Forsyth residents — or 57% of all residents — were fully vaccinated. By comparison, Guilford was 56% fully vaccinated, Durham 65%, Wake 67% and Mecklenburg 58%.

About 69% of adult Forsyth residents are fully vaccinated. By comparison, Guilford is at 68%, Durham 77%, Wake 81% and Mecklenburg 70%.

DHHS added Wednesday another metric option of those who are partially and fully vaccinated from ages 5 and up.

Using that metric, Forsyth and Guilford are at 60%, Mecklenburg at 62%, Durham at 70% and Wake at 71%.

Swift said Tuesday that nearly 4,500 children ages 5 to 11 in Forsyth have received one dose of the kids’ version of the Pfizer vaccine, up 1,900 from a week ago.

That represents about 13% of the 35,400 children in that age range in the county.

Swift has projected that about 20,000 Forsyth children ages 5 to 11 would get fully vaccinated, or about 56%.

Meanwhile, for those ages 12 to 17, the fully vaccinated rate is at 48%.

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@rcraverWSJ

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