With all adults 18 and older now eligible for COVID-19 boosters, Albemarle Regional Health Services plans to host a second round of mass drive-thru clinics offering the shots starting next week.
ARHS held a series of mass clinics in early November offering Moderna booster shots. The clinics were reserved for persons 65 and older, people younger who are immunocompromised, and those working in front-line jobs that expose them to greater risk of contracting COVID.
The booster clinics that begin Tuesday in Ahoskie will be for all adults 18 and older and offer both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
“With the recommendation for everyone 18 and older to receive a booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna we are working with our partners to offer another set of drive–thru mass vaccine clinics across the region,” ARHS Director Battle Betts Jr. said in a press release Friday. “We hope that rounding the year out with mass clinics will give everyone ample opportunity to get their booster doses before the Christmas holidays.”
According to ARHS, the mass clinic held at the Ahoskie Creek Amphitheater on Tuesday will be followed one at the Bertie County Recreation Complex on Wednesday and Maple Park on Friday. Clinics the following week are scheduled for the Gates County Heath Department on Monday, Dec. 13; the Elizabeth City Aviation Commerce Park on Tuesday, Dec. 14; the Camden County Library on Wednesday, Dec. 15; Perquimans Recreation Center on Thursday, Dec. 16; and the American Legion in Edenton on Friday, Dec. 17. All clinics are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
To get a booster, residents of ARHS’ eight-county region should have completed their first two shots of either Moderna or Pfizer at least six months ago or their single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago. Booster-seekers are urged to bring their vaccine card with them.
Another 926 residents got either a booster or third shot of vaccine over the past week and half, raising the total in ARHS’ eight counties to 9,110, data released Friday shows. That’s down from the 3,200 booster doses ARHS administered the previous week and 2,800 the week before that.
Other data ARHS released Friday shows the number of new COVID-19 cases in the region reported this week and a portion of last week was 312, raising the total in the eight counties to 20,544.
Active COVID cases rose to 251, an increase of 37 from the previous week. Pasquotank had the highest number of active cases (67) as of Friday. Currituck was close behind with 62, followed by Perquimans with 33. Chowan was fourth with 28. Bertie and Camden each had 22. No other county had more than 11.
ARHS also reported two COVID-19 deaths in Perquimans this week. One person was between the ages of 50 and 64, the other was over 65, ARHS said.
New COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region ticked up slightly this week. According to the Centers of Disease Control’s COVID data tracker, 11 new hospitalizations for COVID were reported at area hospitals over a seven-day period ending Thursday. Ten new hospital admissions were reported over a similar timeframe the previous week. The majority of hospitalizations were at Albemarle Medical Center, where 13 patients — 16% of all in-patient beds — were being treated on Friday.
ARHS data also show that COVID cases at congregate housing facilities in the region had fallen to 55 as of Friday. Elizabeth City Health and Rehabilitation continued to have the largest share of the cases — 44 — while also reporting five deaths. The outbreak at Albemarle District Jail and Waterbrooke of Elizabeth City have been resolved, ARHS said.
The region’s positivity rate — the percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back positive — rose to 7.7% for the week ending Nov. 27. That’s an increase of more than 2.8% from the previous week.