Craven County Commissioner Johnnie Sampson Jr. and the Rev. Ethel Sampson are both hospitalized in a battle against COVID-19.
New Bern Alderman Sabrina Bengel revealed the Sampsons’ situation during her videoblog program, CityTalk, on Friday morning.
No other details were available.
Craven County has 280 active cases as of today, with 18 Craven County residents hospitalized for COVID-19 related reasons.
There have been no deaths reported over the past 24 hours, and the total stands at 48, the highest death toll of the eight-county region in and around Craven County.
Craven County has had 1,866 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic reached its border in mid-March.
Of those, 1,538 have recovered.
During the AIDS epidemic of the 1970s, Reverend Sampson visited and tended to the sick at a time when most people were afraid to be around AIDS victims. She has volunteered for many years with hospice, fed the hungry, sheltered the homeless, and worked closely with prisons and the local jail, according to her biography for her Community Fabric Award for Leadership, which she received this year.
Though has not held office, Reverent Sampson had been careful to attend all of the aldermen meetings downtown and claimed to have not missed a meeting in 65 years.
Commissioner Sampson has been a member of the Craven County Board of Commissioners since December 1996. He retired from NADEP at MCAS Cherry Point in 1991 as Power Support Mechanic and Training Leader. Commissioner Sampson is a native of Craven County and his civic involvements are numerous, including Craven County Voters’ League, Concerned Citizens, NAACP, and the Duffyfield Residents’ Council.
During a Board of Commissioners meeting recently, Commissioner Sampson was the only county commissioner who spoke out against reopening public schools.
Both Ethel and her husband have received the Order of the Longleaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest recognition to its residents.
The street she grew up on was renamed Sampson Street in their honor.