The number of people receiving a COVID-19 vaccine in Pitt County has risen over the last two weeks, but an increase in new cases has jumped the local alert level from moderate to substantial spread.
A total of 1,384 county residents received a vaccination dose between July 20 and Monday, according to N.C. Department of Health and Human Services numbers tracked by The Daily Reflector. That’s up from 908 reported between July 13-19 and 287 July 7-12, a six-day period.
The spread of the virus in Pitt County is among the worst in the state. On Friday, the COVID-19 Alert System raised Pitt’s level from light yellow for moderate spread to orange for substantial spread — that jumped the county over the yellow level.
Pitt was among 12 counties listed as orange in the biweekly report, compared to one orange county in the July 8 report. One county, Richmond, was listed in the red zone for critical spread.
Criteria for substantial spread include a 14-day rate of infection that is between 101-200 cases per 100,000 people; 8-10 percent of tests returning positive; and a moderate impact on hospitals.
DHHS reported Tuesday that Pitt’s rate of infection was 232 per 100,000, up from 149 per 100,000 on July 20 and 95 per 100,000 on July 13.
A total of 260 new cases were recorded between July 20 and Monday, about 37 cases a day. That’s up from 160 cases between July 13-19, about 22 cases a day. About 16 cases a day were recorded the week prior to that. The average had dropped as low a six cases a day in early June.
A total of 32 new cases were reported in Pitt County on Monday. Daily totals rose as high as 256 in January.
The percentage of positive tests in Pitt was at 10.4 on Sunday, the most recent date for which data was available. That’s up from 8 percent on July 18 and 6.7 percent on July 10.
While local vaccination numbers have increased, the total number of residents vaccinated remains low. As of Tuesday’s report, 78,142 people had received at least a partial dose, about 43 percent of the county population. A total of 73,565 were fully vaccinated, or about 41 percent of the population.
The number of deaths in Pitt County remained at 96 on Tuesday, according to the DHHS dashboard, where it has stayed since May.
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations at Vidant Health facilities was at 38 on Monday, the most recent date for the figures. That is the same number as the previous week. More than 230 were in the system at the pandemic’s peak.
There were 1,603 new cases reported statewide on Tuesday, up from 811 the prior week. Daily cases had fallen as low as 55 in June. They peaked at 11,581 in January.
Statewide hospitalizations were at 1,031 on Monday, up from 672 the previous week. The numbers peaked at 3,964 on Jan. 6.
Statewide figures show 10.4 percent of people tested for COVID-19 were positive on Sunday, up from 7.3 percent last week.
About 60 percent of the statewide population is at least partially vaccinated, and 57 percent is fully vaccinated. Those numbers are up from 59 percent and 56 percent last week.