Thirty-nine Craven County residents are now hospitalized for COVID-19-related reasons, the Craven County Health Department reported on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 — a record high since the pandemic started here in March 2020.

The Health Department stopped releasing daily updates at the end of December, so it is unclear whether there were even more Craven County residents hospitalized due to COVID-19 since the previous report a week ago.

Friday’s total was an increase of five over the previous Friday, which was the previous record for Craven County hospitalizations.

Craven County also added one additional death, bringing the total death toll to 93.

This all follows a post-Christmas Break surge resulting from increased travel and decreased social distancing.

A surge of deaths in Onslow County has brought its death toll to 94, marking the first time since last spring that Craven County hasn’t led its eight-county region in deaths.

Craven County has 6,673 COVID-19 cases as of Jan. 22, 2021 afternoon. A total of 488 Craven County residents have been hospitalized due to COVID-19.

Source: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

The state issued an updated county alert on Thursday. Here are the main points:

  • 86 of the state’s 100 counties are “red,” or critical, including Craven County. There are 13 orange counties and one yellow county.
  • The previous alert on Jan. 6 showed 84 red counties, 12 orange counties including Jones and Pamlico counties, and four yellow counties.
  • All individuals should get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is their turn. Because supplies are still limited, you may have to wait.
  • Individuals in all counties should continue to stay home, limit public interactions to essential activities, and avoid gathering with others from outside their household in according with the Jan. 6 Secretarial Directive.

A yellow status indicates significant community spread. Orange indicates substantial community spread. Red indicates critical community spread.

Craven County Schools started its own system of reporting school COVID-19 status, using a traffic signal as an allegory to indicate when a school is too sick to cary on in-person instruction.

As of today, all Craven County schools are reporting green status except Roger Bell New Tech Academy, which reported a yellow status.

Yellow status means between 15-30 percent of the teaching staff is absent due to the pandemic.

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