Beaufort County COVID-19 update

Published 6:31 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

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Beaufort County residents were alarmed to see 100 new positive COVID-19 cases reported Thursday in the county’s daily report.

“It’s more of a data load issue,” Health Director Jim Madson said. “Sometimes they get that data very late on Wednesday night, and they get in to Thursday morning’s numbers. A one-day number isn’t an indicator of a problem; we’re really looking at the seven-day average.”

That seven-day average was 53.4 as of Friday afternoon. Madson is encouraged about how that metric is trending.

“That number has grown exponentially since the late July, early August timeframe,” Madson said. “But over the last week, it looks like that number has slowed down a bit. So even though the numbers continue to go up, the slope is getting more gradual. So I’m hoping we can see some sort of plateau soon.”

Madson said vaccinations are playing a significant role in that trend. Approximately 51% of Beaufort County residents are at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19, and around 47% are fully vaccinated. In terms of the adult population, 61.2% of that age group is partially vaccinated and 56.3% is fully vaccinated.

The partial vaccination rate for the age group 12-17 is 26%; almost 20% of that age group is fully vaccinated.

Madson noted that unvaccinated individuals have accounted for 90% of the cases recorded in Beaufort County since June 1.


Beaufort County Schools, which is now under a mask mandate for all students and staff, is continuing to see the effects of COVID-19.

The north Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ weekly report of ongoing clusters in child care and school settings, which was updated Tuesday, included a cluster at Chocowinity Primary School. That cluster included 11 cases — 10 involving students and one involving a staff member.

Per the NCDHHS, a cluster is defined as a “minimum of five positive cases identified through a positive molecular (PCR) or positive antigen test result with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiologic linkage between cases.”