RANDOLPH COUNTY — Following another seven days in which Randolph County set its high mark for COVID-19 cases for a fourth consecutive week, Darrell Frye, chairman of the Randolph County Board of Commissioners, addressed residents via the county’s YouTube channel.

Frye encouraged residents to follow protocols for increased safety after Randolph reported another 375 new cases of COVID-19 for the 7-day period ending Nov. 13. Having reached another level of concern, the chairman spoke specifically of his personal connection with the pandemic, noting that he recently attended funerals of those affected.

“For the first six months of this pandemic, I personally didn’t know anyone who had experienced the virus,” Frye said. “In the last two months, it’s almost every day that I know someone — a very close friend going through this.”

Two more people also died from the virus last week, bringing Randolph’s total to 75. Hospitalizations continue to rise, as well, and statewide counts reached 1,571 by the end of the week, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Randolph recorded a 9.4% positive test rate for the period of Nov. 8-14.

This comes as Pfizer and Moderna announced 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 reach 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 in the first and second priority groups.

Of those congregate living facilities, the Randolph County Detention Center has seen its outbreak grow to 56 cases, 48 inmates among them. No deaths were reported as of the end of the week.

At press time, the most recent report indicated another 395 cases of COVID-19 in the 7-day period ending Nov. 20.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Archdale’s 27263 zip code has reported 728 cases, including 14 deaths. Sophia’s 27350 zip tallied 194 cases and two deaths. In Trinity, the 27370 zip recorded 398 cases. One of those individuals died.

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.