Albemarle Regional Health Services reported another eight deaths from COVID-19 in the eight-county region last week, including a Perquimans County resident who was younger than 25.
ARHS said three Gates County residents also died of complications from COVID, two between the ages of 50 and 64 and the third over age 65.
Two Pasquotank residents, both over 65 and one a resident of Elizabeth City Health and Rehabilitation Center, also died from COVID last week, ARHS data show.
Deaths were also reported in Bertie and Hertford counties. The Bertie resident was between the ages of 50 and 64; the Hertford resident was over 65.
The Perquimans resident who died was between the ages of 18 and 24, becoming the region’s third resident in that age group to die from COVID. Two Bertie residents in the age group died earlier this year.
The Perquimans death from COVID follows the deaths of three county residents from the disease the week before. Two of those residents were between the ages of 50 and 64; the third was over 65.
New COVID-19 cases in the region, meanwhile, increased last week by 452, which is 34 more new cases than were reported last week. Active cases, meanwhile, held steady at 392, ending five straight weeks of declines.
Pasquotank continued to reported the largest jump in new COVID cases (148), followed by Hertford (71), Currituck (60), Bertie (48), Chowan (38) and Gates (34). Perquimans reported 33 new cases last week.
Bertie (16), Chowan (15), Perquimans (5) Gates (3) and Hertford (3) all reported increases in active cases. Those were offset, however, by large decreases in Pasquotank (20 fewer) and Currituck (17 fewer). Camden also reported five fewer active cases last week.
The overwhelming majority of those getting sick — 91.53% since May 1 — continued to be those who aren’t fully vaccinated, ARHS said.
More than 697 persons in the eight-county region received a first dose of vaccine last week. That’s up slightly from the week before. The number of those who got a second dose and became fully vaccinated was 929, down slightly from the week before. In Perquimans, 12 new first doses were administered last week and 28 new second doses were administered.
More than 61% of the population 12 and older in the eight counties has now gotten at least one dose of vaccine. A similar percentage is now fully vaccinated.
ARHS began administering Pfizer booster shots the week before to persons over 65, persons younger with compromised immune systems and front-line workers at greater risk of contracting COVID. After administering more than 1,200 booster shots the week before through several mass clinics, ARHS administered about 120 doses through its regional clinics last week.
More than 61% of those booster doses were administered in Pasquotank and Currituck counties, ARHS data show. Only two booster doses were administered in Perquimans last week after 93 were administered the week before.
ARHS Director Battle Betts also warned residents Friday about an increase in COVID-19-related scams and phishing incidents, which he said have grown since the agency and its partners started administering vaccines.
“It’s important to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from these scams,” he said. “Be wary of any inbound calls, texts, emails or phony websites that ask for your Social Security number, financial details, or insurance or other personal information.”
He also said residents can take the following steps to protect against COVID-related scams:
• Contact a trusted source, such as the health department, for information about how to get the COVID-19 vaccine, or how to access ones COVID-19 vaccine record.
• Don’t open emails, attachments, texts, or links from persons you don’t know, or that come unexpectedly. That can result in downloading dangerous malware to your phone or computer, he said.
• Don’t share personal, financial, or health information with people you don’t know.