Mar. 27—LUMBERTON — No deaths related to COVID-19 were reported by the Robeson County Health Department over the past week.
The period from March 20 through Friday is the first seven-day period with no virus-related deaths since Robeson County's first pandemic-related on April 17, 2020. There have been 225 virus-related deaths in the county during the pandemic.
There were 98 new cases reported by the county Health Department between March 20 and Friday, down from the 119 cases reported between March 13 and March 19. This marks the first seven-day period with less than 100 new cases in the county since June 20-26, 2020. There have been 16,003 cases in Robeson County since the pandemic began.
The county's testing positivity rate has been below 5% for the past three weeks, said Bill Smith, county Health Department director. Being below 5% is a statewide goal. This comes as the number of tests administered has dropped drastically, from more than 4,400 tests per week in January to a little more than 1,300 tests this week, Smith said.
COVID-19 vaccinations remain plentiful and available at locations throughout the county. Robeson County is one of the most under-vaccinated counties in North Carolina because of vaccine hesitancy, the reluctance of eligible residents to obtain a vaccination, Smith said.
There have been 21,182 first doses of the vaccine administered in Robeson County and 12,788 second doses as, according to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services statistics posted as of noon Friday.
Nearly one in six Robeson County residents have received a first dose of the vaccine and nearly one in 10 have received a second dose.
Of the doses administered, UNC Health Southeastern reports it has administered 10,742 first doses and 7,533 second doses through 11 a.m. Friday.
UNC Health Southeastern reports two virus-positive patients in quarantine at its medical center as of 11 a.m. Friday, down from five on March 19 and a high of 53 on Jan. 8. There are no additional potential positives under investigation. The organization has three employees under quarantine because of possible exposure to the virus.
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke reports only two active cases among its student body, with none among its faculty and staff or subcontractors, as of late Friday.
There have been two new student cases since March 19, bringing the spring semester total to 37 cases case. The case count remains at 23 among faculty and staff, and six among subcontractors, with no new cases reported among those groups in four weeks.
Statewide, NCDHHS reports 12,299 new cases between March 20 and Friday, an increase from the 11,406 cases reported during the period March 13-19. This is the first week cases have increased in the state since Jan. 2-8. There have been 905,528 total cases in North Carolina since the pandemic began.
There were 223 virus-related deaths reported in the state between March 20 and Friday, up from the 142 reported from March 13-19. This brings the state's pandemic death toll to 12,028.
There were 933 virus-related hospitalizations in the state as of Friday, down from 970 on March 19.
There have been 2,321,945 first doses of the vaccine administered in North Carolina as of noon Friday and 1,380,179 second doses, according to NCDHHS.
In other virus-related news, NCDHHS has expanded its vaccine data dashboard to provide information on people who have been partially or fully vaccinated through the federal long-term care and retail pharmacy programs. Users will be able to view information about who has been vaccinated through these federal pharmacy programs by county, race, ethnicity, gender and age group, and by week.
The information will be available on the tabs "Summary Data" and "Demographics Data" on the dashboard through a drop-down option that allows users to view data for NC Providers, Federal Pharmacy Programs, or All Programs.
For more information and to view the NCDHHS vaccine data dashboard, visit covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard/vaccinations.