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The 33rd death related to COVID-19 was reported by the Halifax County Health Department today.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 dashboard, the death was reported from within the Enfield area ZIP code and is the fourth to be reported from within that area.

The breakdown of deaths is as follows: 18 within the Roanoke Rapids area ZIP code; four within the Enfield area ZIP code; four within the Scotland Neck area ZIP code; three within the Weldon area ZIP code; two within the Littleton area ZIP code; one within the Halifax area ZIP code; and one within the Hollister area ZIP code. 

According to a demographics chart from NCDHHS which is also contained in the accompanying photo gallery, 24 percent of the deaths in the county have occurred within the 50-64 age range; 18 percent have occurred within the 65-74 age range; and 58 percent within the 75 and older age range.

The health department today added 17 new positive cases which brings the total cumulative number of positives since March 1,738.

The graphical information shows a continued and sustained increase in the trend of positive cases.

NCDHHS reported recently that since September, new COVID-19 cases have been increasing faster in rural counties.

“It’s particularly worrisome to see high rates of COVID spread in our rural counties as healthcare can be harder to access,” said department Secretary Mandy Cohen in a statement. “Most rural hospitals are small, and some are already feeling stretched to their capacity limits.” 

The report, which looks at data since the start of the pandemic, found the following since September: 

Nearly twice as many new cases have been reported from rural counties compared to urban or suburban counties.

The majority of cases in rural counties are increasingly white, non-Hispanic as compared with previous months. 

COVID-19 related deaths in rural counties also increased significantly, and account for the majority of deaths statewide compared with deaths in urban and suburban counties. 

Among deaths in rural counties, deaths among white, non-Hispanic and Black/African American cases have increased over time.

The majority of COVID-19 cases in rural communities are in people 49 years and younger.

The increase is being driven by community spread, not congregate living settings like nursing homes or jails.

The full report can be accessed at this link.  

The department said North Carolinians can slow the spread of COVID-19 by practicing the Three Ws — wearing a face mask whenever they are with others that do not live in their household, waiting 6-feet apart and avoiding crowds, and washing hands often. 

Meanwhile, NCDHHS is now offering a monthly COVID-19 county alert system. This report will come out the second Tuesday of every month. The report is attached as a PDF which can be downloaded at this link

Northampton County

The health department reported Monday there were 721 total positive cases of which 630 have recovered. There were 65 active cases. There have been 26 related deaths.