The number of Pitt County residents who received a COVID-19 vaccine shot higher last week while the number of new cases saw another slight decline, according to data released Monday.
A total of 66,272 county residents had received at least a partial dose of the vaccine by Sunday, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Service reported. That’s 3,106 more than had received the vaccine last week. Only 796 people received a dose the previous week.
A total of 59,986 Pitt Count residents were fully vaccinated as of Sunday, according to the DHHS dashboard. That’s 33.2 percent of the population. Statewide, 32.8 percent of the population is fully vaccinated and 39.2 percent has received a partial dose.
Vaccines remain widely available from the county health departments, area pharmacies, Vidant Health and at special events held routinely throughout the community.
Vidant and NC CIVIL partnered to host a Community Health Event at Dream Park in Greenville on April 24, bringing vaccines, health information, screenings and free lunch to people in west Greenville.
More than 60 community members received their first dose at the event, and Vidant also provided access to free screenings for diabetes and hypertension and gave out advance directives, colorectal cancer and organ donor education.
“Working with community leaders who share Vidant Health’s mission to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina is an honor,” said KaSheta Jackson a nursing leader fellow at Vidant Health. “We were able to bring important services like screenings and the COVID-19 vaccine directly to our community. This was a great day, and it was made possible by our community working together.”
Jackson said that taking the vaccine and other health resources directly into the community is what the future of health care could look like. By reducing barriers that hinder access to care, such as a lack of transportation, community members can live healthier lives. It takes an entire community working together, she said.
“The beauty of this day was about so much more than vaccines; it was about access,” said Jermaine McNair of NC CIVIL. “Several organizations and community leaders ... worked together to create a culturally familiar and loving environment for residents to walk up, talk and get informed about healthcare and prevention. The decisions of those 60-plus people to get vaccinated onsite were simply byproducts of what caring and informed environments can produce in communities.”
The vaccine is available to everyone over the age of 16. For appointments, visit vidanthealth/vaccinate, pittcountync.gov, walgreens.com, studenthealth.ecu.edu/covid/ or covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines/find-your-spot-take-your-shot.
The county meanwhile saw 245 new cases between April 27 and Monday, about 35 new cases a day. That’s down from 285 new cases between April 20-26, about 40 new cases a day. It’s the second week of decline after three weeks of increases.
Pitt County continues to see significant impact from the virus, according to the state’s COVID-19 Alert System, which was released on Thursday. It was among 56 yellow counties in the state. None of North Carolina’s counties are currently red, indicating critical impact. There were 30 orange for substantial impact. There were 14 light yellow counties and no green counties.
The report showed a slight worsening of impact overall from the one released on April 15. That report showed one red county, 20 orange counties, 48 yellow counties, 30 light yellow counties, and 1 green county.
About 6 percent of tests statewide were positive on Saturday, the most recent date for the data. That compares to 6.5 percent on April 24. The numbers for Pitt County were at 7.1 percent, compared to 7.6 percent April 24
Vidant Health reported 61 COVID patients were hospitalized as of Sunday in its facilities, the same as last week. Statewide hospitalizations fell to 1,007 on Sunday from 1,076 on April 25.
East Carolina University on Monday reported 24 new cases among students and staff between April 27 and Monday. That compares to 13 new cases between April 20-26.
A total of 27 students were in quarantine or isolation on and off of campus as of Monday, according to ECU’s COVID-19 dashboard, compared to 26 on April 26.
Pitt County Schools on Friday reported 22 new cases and 198 quarantines among on-campus students and staff between April 23-20, compared to 25 new cases and 148 quarantines April 16-22.
Real-time data among students and staff on and off campus on Monday showed 60 active cases and 530 quarantines. That compares to 52 active cases and 547 quarantines this time last week.
A weekly DHHS report on outbreaks at congregant living facilities on Monday showed that outbreaks continued at MacGregor Downs Health and Rehabilitation, PruittHealth Farmville and Universal Health Care Greenville. A new outbreak was reported at Brookdale West Arlington.