By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer •
The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina will hold a free drive-thru mass COVID-19 testing site next month in South Hoke. Patrick B. Strickland, program manager for the department of energy, senior solutions program and community initiatives program, confirmed Monday that the Lumbee Tribe is coordinating the free testing site. The drive-thru COVID-19 test site will be held August 10-11 at Mt. Elim Baptist Church, located at 921 Wilson Road. The site will operate between the hours of 10 a.m.-1 p.m. To pre-register online, visit http://lumbeetribecovidtesting.com. Participants who need assistance can register onsite or call (833) 684-0592 to speak with a tribal registration representative. “In additional to a free on-the-go lunch, testing participants will be provided personal protection equipment, education supplies, and fresh produce,” Strickland said in an email Monday. The Lumbee Tribe has also held free testing sites in Lumberton, (See COVID-19, page 6) Pembroke, Maxton and Rowland over the last month. More sites are planned at churches in Lumberton and Rennert in the month of August. The Hoke County and Robeson County Health Departments, Community Organized Relief Effort and World Central Kitchen are partnering with the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina to assist with the free drive-thru testing. Hoke County had at least 146 known active COVID-19 cases as of Monday, according to Health Department Director Helene Edwards. Eleven people from Hoke County are currently hospitalized for severe COVID-19 symptoms. Nearly 500 people from Hoke who tested positive for the virus have since recovered. The county has seen 644 known total COVID-19 cases since the first positive case March 18. That works out to about 115 cases per 100,000 residents, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). So far, seven Hoke residents have died of coronavirus-related causes. The deaths include a White man who died July 21 at FirstHealth of the Carolinas; 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. Hoke County 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 http://www.readyhoke.org.
By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer •
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