First COVID-19 death reported in Currituck; weekend jump in cases due to lab delay

CDC image coronavirus COVID-19

Currituck County on Friday became the last county in northeastern North Carolina to report its first death from COVID-19.

Local health officials also said a reporting delay was the reason Currituck had its highest single-day increase in cases of the coroanvirus.

The Currituck County resident who died was over the age of 69, according to a news release from Albemarle Regional Health Services.

The death was related to an outbreak at Currituck House, a long-term care and rehabilitation facility in Moyock.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recently enhanced testing capacity at congregate living facilities therefore resulting in a number of recent outbreaks across the region, according to the agency that serves eight counties in the region.

An outbreak is defined as two or more cases in a facility.

“When an outbreak is identified, additional contact tracing and testing is required in order to manage exposures and ensure proper steps are taken to protect both staff and residents,” according to the health department. “This often times identifies additional cases more quickly, including asymptomatic cases.”

ARHS spokesperson Amy Underhill confirmed Monday there has been only one death of a Currituck resident, despite some websites reporting an additional fatalities.

Over the weekend, Currituck had 16 additional cases added to the state’s online dashboard.

“The increase in case numbers is related to a delay in reporting from a lab in Virginia,” Underhill said.

Currituck County had 166 positive tests for COVID-19 since mid-March according to the state as of Monday. There were 33 active cases in Currituck at the time of Friday’s weekly news release from ARHS.

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