By Catharin Shepard • Staff Writer • Hoke County has added about 80 newly identified cases of COVID-19 to its tally in the last week, and health officials also announced the seventh coronavirus-related death of a Hoke resident.
Hoke County had 582 total known cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). The county hit the 500-case mark just last week.
The most recent coronavirus-related death of a Hoke resident occurred July 21. The person was a White man who died at FirstHealth of the Carolinas, according to the Hoke County Health Department.
The county’s previous six COVID-19 related deaths were an African-American man who died July 13 at FirstHealth of the Carolinas; a Hispanic woman who died July 7 at FirstHealth of the Carolinas; a Hispanic woman who died July 2 at Cape Fear Valley Health System; a Hispanic woman who died June 18 at FirstHealth of the Carolinas; an African-American man who died June 12 at FirstHealth of the Carolinas; and a Native American woman who died May 21 at UNC Hospitals.
The Hoke County Health Department has not released further identifying details about the people who have died. All of them had permanent home addresses in Hoke County.
At least one person with close ties to Hoke is also known to have died due to complications from COVID-19. Hoke High graduate and Halifax County School principal Teicher Patterson, 50, died July 17 after testing positive for the virus. Loved ones plan to hold two public viewings this weekend, with the second viewing set for Sunday, July 26 at Cape Fear Conference B Headquarters in Hoke County.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. with Claudia Velasco-Osorio, Consul General of Mexico in Raleigh, and Jorge Archila, Consul General of Guatemala, released a joint statement Thursday on the effect of COVID-19 on the Latino/Hispanic communities.
“We are deeply grateful to our Latino community for their hard work and recognize the vital role this community plays in keeping North Carolina running. Many in our Latino community work in essential jobs in food, construction, manufacturing and other industries that are the backbone of the state’s economy. The nature of these jobs puts our Latino community at higher risk of getting COVID-19 both at work and in our neighborhoods,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, there has been a notable increase in COVID-19 cases among the Latino community living in North Carolina. The Consulates General of Mexico and Guatemala join Governor Roy Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to make an urgent call to the Latino community to take prevention measures against this virus. COVID-19 is highly contagious and, unfortunately, it is strongly affecting Hispanics.”
The statement urged Latino and Hispanic residents to get tested, and stay at home if they experience symptoms such as headache, sore throat, fever or chills, cough, nausea, vomiting, congestion or runny nose, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, muscle pain or fatigue. Officials issued an address about the matter in both English and Spanish during a live-streamed press conference Thursday.
Hoke County continues to see a rise in COVID-19 positive cases, according to a press release from the county Health Department.
As of Wednesday, local health officials were dealing with at least 235 known, active cases of the virus in Hoke County. Seven people from Hoke who tested positive for the virus are currently hospitalized, according to the Health Department.
Of the total 582 known positive cases in Hoke County since the pandemic hit in March, at least 340 people are presumed recovered from the virus.
Hoke residents can receive COVID-19 testing in multiple places across the county and North Carolina. The local health department of residence manages the positive cases. The Hoke County Health Department continues to test people with and without COVID-19 symptoms daily, as well as manage the positive COVID-19 cases, according to a press statement from the department.
“The management of the COVID-19 cases requires in-depth interviews with contact tracing. Many of the COVID-19 positive cases were exposed to COVID-19 within their household or contact with a COVID-19 positive person at work or public,” the press release said.
For more information, visit the NCDHHS website at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov, or the CDC website, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. Local information is available online at www.readyhoke.org.