ARCNWS-12-10-20 COVID UPDATE

RANDOLPH COUNTY — Eight outbreaks of COVID-19 in local congregate living facilities and an increase in individual cases have again elicited concern from Randolph County officials.

Seven long-term care facilities, including GrayBrier Nursing and Rehab in Trinity, have reported outbreaks, and another in the Randolph County Detention Center account for a total of 360 cases and 13 deaths. In one month between Nov. 4 and Dec. 4, the overall case total in Randolph County jumped 41% from 4,129 to 5,831, where it stood at the end of last week.

Ten more people died from the virus in a seven-day span last week, with an additional two dying over the weekend, bringing Randolph’s total to 94, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

GrayBrier has 136 individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, 61 staff members and 75 residents. Four from the facility reportedly died.

The jail has seen its outbreak grow to 61 cases, 48 inmates among them. No deaths were reported as of the end of the week.

At press time, the most recent report revealed 499 cases of COVID-19 in the 7-day period ending Dec. 4. According to the NCDHHS, Archdale’s 27263 zip code has reported 873 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, 17 of whom have died.

Sophia’s 27350 zip has tallied 236 cases and two deaths. In Trinity, the 27370 zip has recorded 574 cases. Six of those individuals died.

The county’s second-highest single-day total of reported cases since the outset of the pandemic came on Dec. 1, following a week in which Randolph recorded a 8.6% positive test rate for the period of Nov. 22-28. CDC officials called last week for all individuals to adopt a universal policy of wearing masks at all times in all locations outside the home.

With the promise of a vaccine just around the corner, however, officials continue to fight an uphill battle to stem the tide as Christmas approaches.

Pfizer and Moderna announced last month that their efforts to manufacture a vaccine have reached the point of application for emergency approval by the FDA. Health officials are hopeful that a vaccine, which could reportedly reach 95% efficacy, might be available to priority groups by the end of the year.

According to state officials, the plan established for vaccine doses as they become available includes providing health care workers, first responders and those in congregate living facilities with the vaccine. It could be late in the second quarter of 2021 before most of the general population has access.

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at dkennedy@atnonline.net.

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at dkennedy@atnonline.net.