Pitt County commissioners discuss COVID-19, fate of Confederate monument


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The Pitt County Commissioners met Monday night for their bi-monthly meeting.

At the meeting, Dr. John Silvernail, Pitt County Health Director, provided a COVID-19 update for the county. The Commissioners also discussed what should happen to the relocation committee created to decide what to do with the monument that once stood outside of Pitt County’s Courthouse.

COVID-19 Update

Silvernail said as of Monday the number of COVID-19 cases was down compared to previous weeks. Over the last 14 days, Pitt County has had 1,147 cases, which averages out to around 82 cases per day.

Silvernail said the county has processed more than 8,000 COVID tests over the last week with a percent positive rate between 11.5% and 12%. There are 33 new deaths in the county, an increase he said is contributed to the Delta variant.

“You see a clustering of these deaths with the delta wave,” Silvernail said. “We had gone since I think it was May 4th without a case fatality and then when we look at the after June 19th, which is when delta started to creep in, we saw case fatalities go up.”

Silvernail added 48% of Pitt County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The health department is still giving out the Moderna vaccine at their office by appointment or walk-in.

Confederate Monument Relocation Committee

The Pitt County Commissioners discussed whether or not they should disband the Monument Relocation Committee.

The board decided in June 2020 to create this relocation committee that would decide where to relocate the monument. The committee met many times and eventually came up with a new location in the southern part of Pitt County.

Chairwoman Ann Floyd Huggins suggested the committee be disbanded at the meeting, but others on the board said the committee’s job was not finished.

According to Pitt County Manager Scott Elliott, the landowner who had initially decided to accept the monument has now decided to wait until the lawsuit surrounding the monument is settled.

“We announced at the last meeting, the committee would reconvene,” Elliott said. “We contacted the committee, set a date and a time, but we had to pull back on it to discuss tonight.

“I would recommend you fulfill the commitment to at least let the committee meet one more time. And then if there task is done and over, disband it, but I recommend to follow through with what was originally announced on August 23rd.”

The board decided to table the discussion on this and keep the committee in place for the time being. The next meeting is on September 27 at 6 p.m.

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