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County’s COVID-19 metrics improving

Beaufort County’s COVID-19 metrics are continuing to trend in a mostly positive direction, with its 21-day and seven-day average case counts both hovering between 10 and 15.

The statewide metrics are heading in a similar direction. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services recently updated its COVID-19 County Alert System, a map that divides the states into tiers based on the level of community spread they are experiencing. Counties experiencing “significant” community spread are colored yellow on the map, those with “substantial” community spread are colored orange and those with “critical” community spread are colored red.

As of Monday’s update, 27 counties were red — a decrease from 61 red counties tallied in the Feb. 4 update.

The most recent update uses data compiled from Jan. 31 through Feb. 13. Beaufort County is currently orange (substantial). In that time frame, 8% of COVID-19 tests in Beaufort County that came back positive.

That was an improvement from the Feb. 4 update in which Beaufort County was given a red designation after reporting a 10.7% positivity rate over the previous 14 days.

This is the first time since early December that Beaufort County has fallen out of the red tier.

“With North Carolinians continuing to follow the 3Ws and more than one million people in the state having received at least a first dose of vaccine, we are slowing the spread and saving lives,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen. “Let’s keep it up.”

As of Tuesday, 8,434 Beaufort County residents had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Of those individuals, 3,200 had completed their two-dose series.

Beaufort County’s population of people ages 65 and older is 11,281. The county’s daily report shows that 6,710 of them (59.5%) have received their first dose, and 2,284 (20.2%) have completed the series.