BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – Bladen County is the only county in North Carolina seeing a “critically high” level of virus spread, according to state health officials.
Dr. Mandy Cohen, the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, had pointed words for areas in the state with low vaccination rates that have seen increases in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths associated with Covid-19.
She specifically mentioned Bladen County during a Monday morning news conference to announce the winners of the state’s first vaccination lottery drawing.
“In Bladen County, where only 33 percent of people are vaccinated, there is now a critically high level of viral spread and the county is back in the red zone,” Cohen said.
Bladen County is the lone county listed as “critical” in the NCDHHS’ county alert system, which classifies virus spread in each county from low (green) to red (critical). Data for this map is updated every other week, according to NCDHHS.
Cohen said younger residents are making up most of Bladen County’s cases which are coming from just one zip code.
“This is completely preventable. More than 99 percent of new Covid-19 cases in North Carolina are in people who are not fully vaccinated. Vaccines protect you from Covid-19-related hospitalizations and death as well as complications from the virus,” Cohen said.
As of Monday morning, NCDHHS data showed Bladen County had 11,761 people with at least one shot (36 percent of the population) and 10,825 people fully vaccinated (33 percent of the population). Bladen Primary School is listed as having a cluster of five cases among children.
The last update from Bladen County Health and Human Services posted to Facebook lists 13 people currently hospitalized with 87 active cases.
The county has had a total of 3,497 cases and 44 deaths since the coronavirus pandemic began.
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