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Forsyth surpasses 100,000 fully vaccinated residents
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Forsyth surpasses 100,000 fully vaccinated residents

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Forsyth County now has more than 100,000 fully vaccinated adult residents, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported Thursday.

That’s either two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The total was at 100,553 as of 1 p.m. Thursday.

That local vaccination milestone comes as North Carolinians are looking forward to a June 1 ending for most COVID-19 social-distancing restrictions.

However, several key COVID-19 numbers remain elevated at six- to eight-week highs in Forsyth and statewide.

DHHS reported Thursday that Forsyth had 102 new cases — the highest daily case count since 143 on Feb. 25.

By comparison, Forsyth reported 29 cases Tuesday, which was the lowest daily count since 13 on April 5.

The Forsyth total since the onset of the pandemic is 34,753.

There was one additional COVID-19 related death in Forsyth, raising the total to 370. There have been nine COVID-19 related deaths so far in April.

DHHS lists COVID-19 cases and deaths on the day they are confirmed by medical providers and public health officials so people may have been infected or have died days before their cases were counted.

Gov. Roy Cooper acknowledged during Tuesday’s announcement that while the state “is turning the corner on this pandemic and our trends remain relatively stable ... we have seen slight increases over the past couple of weeks.”

“The virus will still be with us after June 1, so we need to keep being responsible,” Cooper said. “We need businesses to keep paying attention to current executive orders and future health recommendations.”

Vaccinations

Forsyth vaccine providers have given 122,887 individuals at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of 1 p.m. Thursday, according to DHHS.

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DHHS reports that 32.1% of Forsyth residents, or 124,693 out of an estimated 388,453, have received at least one dose, and 100,553, or 26.3%, are considered fully vaccinated.

Blurring the reporting lines is that an estimated 25% of people who have received a vaccine dose in Forsyth are not county residents, as well as the Forsyth residents who got their first or both doses outside the county.

Local and state health officials have said for months that the main challenge would be getting enough individuals to be vaccinated to achieve the 65-75% required to approach herd immunity.

That task has been daunting, whether because individuals are leery of vaccines in general, whether they question the efficacy and safety of the vaccines, or whether they want to wait weeks, if not months, to see if there is any negative reaction in the first groups of vaccinated people.

DHHS reported that 47.5% of North Carolinians ages 18 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, while 36.8% in that age group are fully vaccinated.

There have been 6.71 million doses administered in North Carolina: 3.68 million first doses of Pfizer and Moderna; 2.77 million second doses of Pfizer and Moderna; and 253,093 single doses of Johnson & Johnson.

Statewide

Statewide, new cases were at 2,236 on Thursday, up from 1,963 on Wednesday and 1,200 on Tuesday. The statewide total since the beginning of the pandemic is at 955,765.

The state had an additional 25 deaths for a total 12,505.

COVID-19 related hospitalizations remained at a recent elevated level of 1,149. That’s down 21 from a six-week high of 1,170 in Tuesday’s report. Hospitalizations have been as low at 859 on March 27.

By comparison, the daily peak was 3,990 on Jan. 14.

The 17-county Triad region reported 222 hospitalized COVID-19 patients Thursday, down six from Wednesday.

DHHS lists a statewide positive test rate of 4.9% based on 26,097 tests performed Tuesday. The rate had dropped to 3.4% on March 9 and had a recent high of 8.5% on April 11.

In Forsyth, the latest positive test rate was 5.4% of about 1,000 tests performed Tuesday.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, the state’s health secretary, has said a statewide positive test rate of 5% or lower marks a decrease in community spread of COVID-19.

336-727-7376 @rcraverWSJ

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