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CATAWBA COUNTY

3 Catawba County residents die from COVID-19; cases continue decline

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Three new COVID-19 deaths were reported in Catawba County last week.

The deaths come on the tail end of a rise in cases this summer caused by the BA.5 variant of the virus, according to data from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. New cases have declined since the peak in late July.

The number of newly reported Covid cases have dropped to their lowest level since March 2020, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, urging the world to seize the opportunity to end the pandemic. "We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic. We are not there yet, but the end is in sight," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.

The three new deaths reported in the latest seven-day reporting period, Sept. 11-17, bring the county’s total to 639 since the pandemic began in March, 2020. At least four county residents died from the virus in the first two weeks of September.

COVID-19 cases continued to decline. In the same seven-day reporting period, Sept. 11-17, 332 new coronavirus cases were reported, according to NCDHHS. There have been 55,728 total COVID-19 cases reported in Catawba County since the pandemic began, according to NCDHHS. Those cases include results from PCR and antigen rapid tests.

Despite decreasing cases, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still classifies Catawba County as a community with a high-case transmission level. Caldwell and Burke counties are high-transmission areas, as well.

Over seven days, from Sept. 12-18, 30 Catawba County residents were admitted to a hospital with COVID-19, five more than the week before. The number has increased two weeks in a row.

About 8.7% of staffed hospital beds in Catawba County were in use by patients with COVID-19, also a slight increase from the week before, according to the CDC. About 10% of ICU beds in Catawba County held a COVID-19 patient.

As of Wednesday, about 57% of Catawba County’s population is at least partially vaccinated. About 48,444 people in Catawba County have received a booster vaccine.

Statewide, there have been about 3.18 million COVID-19 cases and 26,458 people have died since the pandemic began. Data shows hospitalizations decreased statewide, with 1,036 people, on average, hospitalized with COVID-19 in the week of Sept. 11-17 in North Carolina.

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