JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Onslow County continues to see a record-breaking number of COVID-19 cases.
On Monday, 451 new cases were reported along with three new deaths. This is the highest number of COVID cases reported in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic last year. Onslow County’s positivity rate has also increased to 15.5% over the past week, while the rest of the state’s positivity rate has decreased to 11.9 percent.
Onslow County Schools also reported on Tuesday there were COVID-19 clusters at eight of its schools.
Onslow County Health Director Kristen Richmond-Hoover said the positivity rate is the percentage of people who have tested positive for COVID out of the total number of tests.
“So we continue to notice that what we’re experiencing here locally, is a little bit more intense than what our state is experiencing as a whole,” said Richmond-Hoover.
She said she believes the higher positivity rate is due to a lower vaccination rate. She is recommending residents to put the same trust in healthcare professionals when it comes to getting vaccinated as they do when they end up needing further care or hospitalization for COVID-19.
“What we often end up seeing instead is that, you know, people were a little bit skeptical, a little bit unsure if they hesitated and did get vaccinated,” she said. “They end up very much mourning and trusting the healthcare community to care for them once they find themselves very ill.”
Richmond-Hoover emphasized that vaccines are easily accessible in the community and that vaccination is the best way to reduce these frightening numbers.
“We hear stories about people just before they are being put on a ventilator that are asking for the vaccine, and at that point, it is too late. So we want to encourage people to buy into this idea of prevention now,” she added.
The new count of COVID-19 deaths in the county is now 210. The county said in a press release, “We mourn all those lost to COVID-19 and issue condolences for their family and friends.”
The Onslow County Health Department said you don’t need an appointment to receive a COVID shot, you can just walk in.