Latest County Alert System report.
Previous County Alert System report.

Craven County remains one of the highest among COVID-19 spread in North Carolina, but numbers have dropped dramatically since the post-Christmas Holiday spike.

COVID-19 spread in Craven County is described as “substantial” (orange) in the County Alert System managed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Craven County had been “critical” (red) in the previous report, along with the majority of counties in the state.

Craven County has had 445 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, an elevated rate but half what it experienced following the Christmas break and a lower rate than what is occurring in neighboring Pamlico and Jones counties.

In all, Craven County has had 8,270 lab-confirmed cases and 114 COVID-19-related deaths.

The actual number of people who have contracted COVID-19 will never be known, but many estimates simply multiply the lab-confirmed numbers by two, three, or more.

It is safe to say that between 8 percent and as high as 32 percent of the population has been infected.

Now add to that those who completed their vaccination.

Next let’s talk about herd immunity. That’s when enough of a population has either had the disease and won’t get it again, or has natural immunity, that spread of the disease is no longer a concern.

The keyword being “enough” — not “all” and maybe not even “most”, but “enough.”

Herd immunity can require as little as 50 percent of the population immune to the virus. Because of its virulence, COVID-19 immunity probably needs to be quite a bit higher.

It is likely that Craven County is already nearing 50 percent immunity, if it hasn’t exceeded it already.

Not enough for herd immunity in this county, but getting closer.

Other numbers …

A total of 584 Craven County residents have been hospitalized due to COVID-19. Twelve were hospitalized as of Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.

Vaccine

Craven County is currently vaccinating Groups 1 and 2. NCDHHS opened up vaccine eligibility to school and childcare staff on Feb. 24, 2021.

School and childcare staff are part of Group 3 in the vaccine plan. Craven County is still working to vaccinate the Group 2 population of individuals 65 years of age and older.

As of Feb. 23, 2021, the Craven County Health Department filled all available appointment slots and online scheduling is was temporily closed.

If you have questions call 252-636-6693 for assistance.

A COVID-19 vaccine will be available soon to all who want it, but supplies will be limited at first.

According to the Craven County Health Department, the best way to fight COVID-19 is to start first with vaccinations for those most at risk, reaching more people as the vaccine supply increases from January to June.

Meanwhile, keep practicing the 3Ws – wear a mask, wait six feet apart, wash your hands – until everyone has a chance to vaccinate.

The other ‘V’ word

Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the following bill Senate Bill 37: In-Person Learning Choice for Families.

Governor Cooper shared the following statement on SB 37:

“Students learn best in the classroom and I have strongly urged all schools to open safely to in-person instruction and the vast majority of local school systems have done just that.

However, Senate Bill 37 falls short in two critical areas. First, it allows students in middle and high school to go back into the classroom in violation of NC Department of Health and Human Services and CDC health guidelines. Second, it hinders local and state officials from protecting students and teachers during an emergency.

As I have informed the Legislature, I would sign the bill if these two problems are fixed.

As written, the bill threatens public health just as North Carolina strives to emerge from the pandemic. Therefore, I veto the bill.”

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