66 new COVID-19 cases were reported by RCPH from Nov. 13-19

Across the entire county, a total of 166 new COVID-19 cases were reported by Randolph County Public Health from Nov. 13-19.

RANDOLPH COUNTY — A reversal of Randolph County’s mask policy has some in the district asking questions of whether an increase in the number of unmasked students will result in additional persons sent home from school.

Parents have expressed their concern at recent school board meetings that the intended relief that would come as a result of making masks optional could be undermined by removal of students from classrooms due to COVID-19. Data from the RCS COVID-19 dashboard indicates that the frequency with which individuals have been asked to quarantine has seen a steady decline since face coverings were required in September.

According to the dashboard, the number of those excluded from school activities reached an all-time low the week of Oct. 30-Nov. 5. Just six people were asked not to return to school due to exposure to a positive case at school that week.

On the most recent update of the dashboard at press time, 24 had to quarantine the week of Nov. 6-12. A total of 27 positive cases were reported at RCS each of those two weeks, the lowest counts since the system began tracking this data at the start of the school year.

Across the entire county, a total of 166 new COVID-19 cases were reported by Randolph County Public Health from Nov. 13-19. That equates to roughly 17.4% of the weekly count three months ago, when weekly case numbers approached 1,000.

As of Nov. 19, the county had seen the number of those who have died from COVID-19 rise to 327 since April 2020. The state’s cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had reached 1.52 million residents as of Nov. 19, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Statewide, the NCDHHS reported that 1,052 people were hospitalized as of Nov. 19, a significant decrease from three months ago when more than 3,600 people were hospitalized. Of the 1.52 million total cases in North Carolina, 18,617 individuals had died. Official statewide data on the COVID-19 pandemic is available at https://www.ncdh hs.gov/covid-19-case-count-nc.

In Randolph County, a positivity rate of 5.8% compares to the 5.0% statewide.

The number of vaccinated Randolph residents continues to lag behind the general population, as 51% of the entire Randolph County population has been at least partially vaccinated. Of those, 48% have been fully vaccinated. In North Carolina, 53.8% are fully vaccinated, and in the U.S., that number stands at 59.1%.

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.