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There are now 1,223 confirmed tests for the novel coronavirus which have been performed on Halifax County residents.

As of midnight Tuesday the breakdown of those tests is as follows:

197 positive cases; one related death; and 153 recoveries.

The approximate number of current cases can be calculated by subtracting the recoveries from the current cases.

The numbers represent individual people and not those who have been tested multiple times.

There are five tests pending and 1,020 negative test results.

“In today’s report you will note an increase in positives with fewer tests performed during the same time frame, which is a change from yesterday’s report,” Halifax County Health Department Director Bruce Robistow said in his afternoon update. “Although the trend line continues to show a downward trend it also shows that COVID-19 is still here and continues to fluctuate daily. Therefore, we all need to continue to practice the three W’s and also continue to follow the governor’s executive orders. Please also be sure to keep your children’s vaccinations up to date.”

There was no new information on reported positive cases at a congregate living facility in the county and the state has not yet updated information to reflect Robistow’s report to Halifax County commissioners Monday.

Northampton County

Tuesday, there were 163 total positive cases of which 123 have recovered, the health department reported Tuesday. There remain 14 related deaths.  

Testing

Robistow said on Saturday Greater Joy North Church on East Tenth Street in Roanoke Rapids will be hosting COVID-19 testing and antibody testing.

Time is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The testing will be done by a nurse practitioner and her team.

It is an effort coordinated by state Senator Toby Fitch and the health department, Robistow said.

Those who are symptomatic will receive a swab test. Those without symptoms will have blood drawn to test for antibodies.

Signature HealthCARE

Signature HealthCARE said in a statement today it will begin incorporating the National COVID-19 Tracking and Recovery Program by BASE10 Genetics.

“One of our greatest weapons against this global pandemic we call coronavirus and its corresponding illness, COVID-19, in addition to social distancing, is testing,” Signature said. “Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, Signature HealthCARE employed a facility-wide testing strategy at select facilities, testing all residents and staff. 

“This strategy came highly recommended by Signature’s infectious disease physicians as a way to quickly identify the scope of the virus in a facility, knowing that positive persons can be asymptomatic, and to work swiftly to contain any further spread. Signature’s approach was applauded by the CDC and several of our governors in states where our facilities operate.”   

 The BASE10 program combines FDA validated tests with a powerful and scalable digital platform to enable COVID-19 screening and management, based on need.   

“We are excited to partner with Signature on this important mission”, said Dr. Michael Fang, BASE10 CEO. “Our program, designed by geriatricians, provides a foundation to help facilities guide its residents and staff back to living life with purpose.”  

With BASE10, Signature HealthCARE will further expand its testing capability throughout its facilities. 

PCR testing, or testing for the virus itself, is performed via a nasal swab. It will continue to be the cornerstone test for detecting and confirming active infections. 

Serology, or testing for the antibodies against the virus, is a finger-prick blood test. It will now also be available to look for possible past exposures to COVID-19 and the resulting immune response to the virus.  

“Signature was being approached by multiple testing solutions, and we were really looking for a testing company that was going to be more than a vendor, but a partner to help us determine the testing solution needed for us,” said Chris Cox, Signature chief operating officer. “Base10 stepped up, and has helped us develop a protocol, as well as provide us with best in class PCR and antibody testing.”  

 Dr. Arif Nazir, Signature chief medical officer, said, “There is no one perfect tool in the fight against COVID-19, and this is particularly true in regard to available tests. What is needed is a comprehensive strategy and a digital platform to operationalize it. Signature HealthCARE is excited to partner with Base10 in implementing this unique strategy.”  

By optimizing the availability, variety and proper use of tests, Signature HealthCARE and BASE10 can build a tracking and recovery strategy that provides protection for residents and staff on multiple levels. 

The tracking and recovery strategy can pinpoint if a person has been infected, how long ago they had the infection and if their immune system has responded in a way that will protect them from the virus. 

Once these factors are known, this strategy can help plan the process for recovery and allow residents to return home or to their facility or for staff to return to work and realize their protection against the virus. 

 In order to have the best outcomes, Signature HealthCARE, along with BASE10, will provide an individual strategy for each case, giving a staff member or resident their own team of experts for their individual needs. 

All BASE10 testing is FDA validated and has undergone rigorous studies by accredited national biomedical laboratories. “It’s a strategy that Signature is excited to expand and BASE10 is ready to share.”  

Said Robistow of the Signature plan: “I think any testing that can be done in congregate settings is a proactive and positive choice.”

A video on the testing can be found at this link