Another virus death: total at 26 in Sampson

Second reported in as many days

By Chris Berendt [email protected]

COVID-19 in Sampson: A timeline

*Total positive patients based on announcements made by the County of Sampson and the Sampson County Health Department.

March 16 — first case

April 3 — second case

April 5 — third case

April 6 — 5 cases

April 8 — 9 cases

April 9 — 10 cases

April 13 — 13 cases

April 14 — 14 cases

April 15 — 17 cases

April 16 — 18 cases

April 17 — 19 cases

April 20 — 21 cases

April 21 — 24 cases

April 22 — 27 cases

April 23 — 35 cases

April 24 — 36 cases

April 27 — 45 cases

April 28 — 49 cases

April 29 — 63 cases

April 30 — 74 cases

May 1 — 81 cases

May 4 — 96 cases

May 5 — 100 cases

May 6 — 120 cases

May 7 — 129 cases

May 8 — 140 cases

May 11 — 171 cases

May 12 — 177 cases

May 13 — 193 cases

May 14 — 211 cases

May 15 — 224 cases

May 18 — 257 cases

May 19 — 267 cases

May 20 — 302 cases

May 21 — 314 cases

May 22 — 333 cases

May 26 — 392 cases

May 27 — 402 cases

May 28 — 413 cases

May 29 — 429 cases

June 1 — 479 cases

June 2 — 501 cases

June 3 — 510 cases

June 4 — 545 cases

June 5 — 563 cases

June 8 — 606 cases

June 9 — 630 cases

June 10 — 637 cases

June 11 — 681 cases

June 12 — 707 cases

June 15 — 749 cases

June 16 — 764 cases

June 17 — 804 cases

June 18 — 823 cases

June 19 — 859 cases

June 22 — 890 cases

June 23 — 927 cases

June 24 — 940 cases

June 25 — 954 cases

June 26 — 977 cases

June 29 — 1,013 cases

June 30 — 1,057 cases

July 1 — 1,077 cases

July 2 — 1,085 cases

July 6 — 1,122 cases

July 7 — 1,134 cases

July 8 — 1,149 cases

July 9 — 1,157 cases

July 10 — 1,181 cases

July 13 — 1,200 cases

July 14 — 1,229 cases

July 15 — 1,262 cases

July 16 — 1,283 cases

July 17 — 1,287 cases

July 20 — 1,290 cases

July 21 — 1,322 cases

July 22 — 1,382 cases

July 23 — 1,433 cases

July 24 — 1,451 cases

July 27 — 1,478 cases

July 28 — 1,489 cases

July 29 — 1,498 cases

July 30 — 1,507 cases

July 31 — 1,521 cases

Aug. 5 — 1,547 cases

Aug. 6 — 1,558 cases

Aug. 7 — 1,610 cases

Aug. 10 — 1,638 cases

Aug. 11 — 1,665 cases

Aug. 13 — 1,671 cases

Aug. 14 — 1,691 cases

Aug. 17 — 1,721 cases

Aug. 18 — 1,747 cases

Aug. 19 — 1,755 cases

Aug. 20 — 1,771 cases

Aug. 21 — 1,783 cases

Aug. 24 — 1,811 cases

Aug. 25 — 1,820 cases

Aug. 26 — 1,837 cases

Aug. 27 — 1,851 cases

Aug. 28 — 1,865 cases

Aug. 31 — 1,876 cases

Sept. 1 — 1,908 cases

Sept. 2 — 1,926 cases

Sept. 3 — 1,933 cases

Sept. 4 — 1,958 cases

Sept. 8 — 1,996 cases

Sept. 9 — 2,000 cases

Sept. 10 — 2,020 cases

Sept. 14 — 2,057 cases

Sept. 15 — 2,074 cases

Sept. 16 — 2,098 cases

Sampson County sustained its 26th death attributed to COVID-19, the second such death in as many days.

The most recent virus death was reported as part of the Sampson County Health Department’s daily report released Wednesday, the day after the county’s 25th death due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). On Wednesday, local health officials also tallied two dozen more new cases.

The 24 new cases in Sampson brought the total positive virus cases to 2,098 to date.

Of those 2,098 cases, 1,723 people have recovered, a figure that remains unchanged after spiking on Tuesday. Taking into account the 26 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Sampson, there were 349 active cases in Sampson as of Wednesday.

There have been 6,080 COVID-19 tests performed in Sampson to date, a number that is up 57 from the tally reported on Tuesday. There have been 3,975 total negative tests (up 47 from Tuesday) along with the 2,098 positives. There are just seven tests whose results were pending as of Wednesday.

Statewide as of Wednesday, there were 188,024 laboratory-confirmed cases 186,887 cases (up 1,137 from Tuesday) and 3,149 deaths due to COVID-19, up 38 from Tuesday, according to the numbers released through the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) COVID-19 dashboard. The agency tallied 918 individuals as being hospitalized due to the virus on Wednesday — a figure that is up two from Tuesday.

To date in North Carolina, there have been 2,683,384 COVID-19 tests performed, an increase of 30,944 over Tuesday.

North Carolina entered Phase 2.5 earlier this month, increasing mass gathering limits to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors; opening playgrounds; opening museums and aquariums at 50% capacity; and opening gyms and indoor exercise facilities at 30% capacity. Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, indoor entertainment facilities, amusement parks, dance halls remain closed.

Mask mandates and other prevention methods remain in effect and are even more important to contain the virus, Gov. Roy Cooper said. Large venues remain subject to mass gathering limitations.

Flu vaccinations urged

NCDHHS health officials are urging North Carolina residents to protect themselves, their families and those around them by getting vaccinated against Influenza as the state enters flu season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year, with COVID-19 still spreading in our communities, it’s critically important to get your flu vaccine,” NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy K. Cohen stated in a state press release. “Flu can be a serious, sometimes deadly, disease. It is important to get vaccinated against the flu to keep you and your family healthy.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination against the flu for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine. Vaccination against the flu can make illness milder and reduce the risk of more serious outcomes, making it especially important for those at higher risk of complications, such as people over 65, children younger than 5, pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or obesity. Some of those same groups are also at high risk of complications from COVID-19.

“This flu season, it is more important than ever to get vaccinated against the flu. We will have both the flu and COVID-19 widely circulating this fall and winter, and we are learning that people can get both infections at the same time,” said State Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson. “We want people to protect themselves from the flu and also avoid overwhelming our hospitals so people can get care if they need it.”

Flu vaccinations are available at hospitals, pharmacies, private medical offices, some federally qualified health care centers and local health departments. Visit vaccinefinder.org/find-vaccine to find locations.

In North Carolina, flu infections are most common from late fall to early spring with activity usually peaking in January or February. The following precautions should be taken to protect against the spread of flu and other viruses like COVID-19, according to health officials:

• Stay home when sick until fever-free for at least 24 hours, except for COVID-19. Follow CDC guidance for end of isolation for COVID-19.

• Wash hands frequently with soap and water.

• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discard the tissue promptly.

• Continue to practice the 3Ws — wearing a face covering over your nose and mouth, waiting 6 feet apart, and washing your hands often can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and flu.

COVID-19 and flu symptoms are similar, so individuals who feel ill should call ahead before going to a doctor’s office, local health department or urgent care. They should consult with a doctor about getting tested for flu and/or COVID-19.

Flu symptoms include:

• Fever

• Cough and/or sore throat

• Runny or stuffy nose

• Headaches and/or body aches

• Chills

• Fatigue

• Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea (most common in children)

Anyone who thinks they have the flu should contact their doctor right away to see if they need treatment with a prescription antiviral drug, such as Tamiflu. Early treatment with an antiviral drug can help prevent flu infections from becoming more serious. Treatment with a prescription antiviral drug is especially important for hospitalized patients, people with severe flu illness and those who are at high risk of serious flu complications based on their age or health.

More information about flu is available online through the Division of Public Health and from the CDC at www.cdc.gov/flu. For information about COVID-19 in North Carolina, visit covid19.ncdhhs.gov.

Weekly updates on flu surveillance data are posted online at flu.ncdhhs.gov. The flu report will be posted every Thursday beginning Oct. 8 throughout the flu season with updated data from around the state on flu activity and other viral respiratory illnesses.

Local COVID-19 outbreaks

COVID-19 outbreaks, tracked by NCDHHS, are considered over if there is no evidence of continued transmission within the facility. This is measured as 28 days after the latest date of onset in a symptomatic person or the first date of specimen collection from the most recent asymptomatic person, whichever is later.

The outbreak list is updated every Tuesday and Friday, so new numbers were not available on Wednesday.

Sampson has three congregate living settings listed as subject of outbreaks under “other,” which can include homeless shelters and migrant worker housing, neither of which are licensed healthcare settings. The sites are not named in the state report, although their general location was disclosed.

The “other” settings in Sampson include Mittie Lane, Autryville, which had nine cases — one staff, eight residents; Ira B. Tart Road, Dunn, which had two resident cases; and Savannah Hill Road, which had two staff cases. Those numbers were unchanged on Tuesday.

As of Tuesday in Duplin County, an outbreak at Autumn Village, had grown from 11 cases — five staff, six residents — to six staff and 14 residents, with two previous deaths reported among those residents.

In a congregate living setting, a COVID-19 outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases. In a child care or school setting, a COVID-19 cluster is defined as a minimum of five laboratory-confirmed cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiologic linkage between cases.

NCDHHS also tracks ongoing clusters in child care and school settings. As of Tuesday, there was one listed in Sampson County at Plain View Elementary School, where there were six cases — five among staff and one child — tallied as part of an outbreak that has been listed dating back to last month.

Editor Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587.