HENDERSON — COVID-19 claimed four more lives in the region over the holidays before 2020 came to an end.
Granville-Vance Public Health reported that two 72-year-olds, one from Granville County and one from Vance County, died on Dec. 28. The agency said the Granville County victim was a woman, but didn’t give a gender for the victim from Vance County.
A 90-year-old woman who lived at the Kerr-Lake Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Henderson died on Dec. 27, amid a fresh outbreak at the facility that as of Dec. 22 had produced five new cases among the home’s staff and six among its residents.
The case numbers at Kerr Lake come from a N.C. Department of Health and Human Services report that, while normally updated twice a week, has been on hold because of the holidays and will resume on Jan. 5.
In Granville County, a 58-year-old man died on Dec. 31 because of the virus, Granville-Vance Public Health reported.
All told, the virus has contributed to 69 deaths in Vance County and 65 in Granville County since the start of the pandemic last spring, the local health department reported.
DHHS reported that there have been nine deaths associated with the coronavirus in Warren County, and 37 in Franklin County.
The Granville County total includes most but not all of the people at the Butner federal prison who died in 2020 because of the virus.
Twenty two inmates who succumbed lived in the Granville County portion of the facility and figure in the county’s death toll. Five more inmates who died lived in a portion of the facility that’s in Durham County, and a guard who died lived in Winston-Salem and thus counted in Forsyth County’s death toll.
The Butner prison outbreak remains the area’s largest and most deadly. As of Dec. 31, the Federal Bureau of Prisons was reporting that 24 inmates and 15 staff members at Butner had active cases of COVID-19.
The daily case numbers at the prison were in the hundreds during the late summer. They abated as fall began, but flare-ups at the prison hospital and other facilities on the complex have continued.
The state’s two prisons in the region, the Polk Correctional Institution in Butner and the Warren Correctional Institution between Norlina and Warrenton, have also had outbreaks.
As of Friday there were 10 active cases at Polk. That facility has 115 prisoners who are presumed to have recovered from the virus. Warren Correctional has 362 prisoners presumed to have recovered, according to the N.C. Department of Public Safety.
Granville-Vance Public Health officials said they are monitoring the outbreak at Polk, along with the ongoing one at the state’s Murdoch Developmental Center in Butner, and those in Oxford at the Toney Rest Home and the Brantwood Nursing and Rehab Center.
In Vance County, along with the one at Kerr Lake Nursing, there’s also an outbreak at the Senior Citizens Home on Ruin Creek Road in Henderson. Health officials define an outbreak as two or more cases at a congregate-living facility.
Contact Ray Gronberg at email@example.com or by phone at 252-436-2850.