By Catharin Shepard •
Staff writer •
Hoke County is now up to 25 deaths due to COVID-19 related causes since the start of the pandemic, according to health officials.
Another four Hoke residents who tested positive for coronavirus have died this month. The most recent deaths included a woman of unspecified race who died October 17 at Cape Fear Valley; an African-American man who died October 16 at FirstHealth of the Carolinas; an Asian woman who died October 13 at Cape Fear Valley Health; a white woman who died October 9 at FirstHealth of the Carolinas; and an African-American man who died October 6 at FirstHealth of the Carolinas. The deceased all had permanent home addresses in Hoke County.
The recent deaths included a second resident of Autumn Care nursing home in Raeford, which is experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19. So far a total of 56 people including 16 staff members and 40 residents at the nursing home have tested positive during the outbreak, according to a state report.
The outbreak at Autumn Care dates back to August 31, when the first positive test result came back, according to local health officials. The facility is working closely with the Health Department and FirstHealth of the Carolinas to continue implementing safety measures and frequent testing for staff and residents.
Additionally, the state reported smaller outbreaks at two other congregate living facilities in Hoke County last week. Two staff members at Canyon Hills behavioral treatment center for youth tested positive, and were asymptomatic, according to the Health Department. Two staff members at Open Arms retirement home in Raeford also tested positive.
Both facilities experienced outbreaks earlier this year, and were cleared of outbreak status.
Overall, Hoke County has seen more than 1,480 known positive cases of coronavirus since March 18. At least 1,360 of those who tested positive are believed to have since recovered, according to the Hoke County Health Department. As of last week, the department was tracking more than 100 known, active cases of coronavirus in the county.
North Carolina is generally seeing an increase in the number of laboratory-confirmed cases of coronavirus. As of Tuesday, the state had seen more than 248,000 total cases.
Over 1,200 people were hospitalized across North Carolina with the virus as of this week. At least 21 people from Hoke County were in the hospital as of last Friday after testing positive for the virus, according to the Health Department. So far at least 50 people from Hoke County have been hospitalized with coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.
Health officials continue to urge citizens to practice the “three Ws” of wearing a face mask, washing hands frequently and waiting at least six feet apart from others.
For more information, visit https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov.