Health Director: COVID Cases Trending Down

Johnston County Health Director Dr. Marilyn Pearson presented her monthly update Monday, March 1st to the Johnston County Board of Commissioners.   Dr. Pearson said the county is still seeing between 60 and 70 COVID-19 cases daily, but that number is trending downward.  The number of COVID patients hospitalized remains around 3.5 percent. 

Approximately 4,000 COVID tests are being administered weekly in Johnston County. The positive test rate is also down from 7.5% last week to 6.7% this week.   “We are looking better and things are trending better for us,” Dr. Pearson told Commissioners. 

The Health Department continues to see weekly shipments of COVID vaccines.  Some are transferred to pharmacies and primary care providers.  Over 24,000 first doses and over 13,000 second doses have been given.   Approximately 60 percent of the doses have been given to those 65 and older.  73% of the vaccines have been given to Johnston County residents, 19% to Wake County residents and the remainder to those in surrounding counties. 

A total of 1,964 Johnston County public school employees received their COVID vaccine last week, representing 39% of all JCPS employees.  Several employees received their vaccines at other locations. 

Johnston County will receive an allotment of 1,900 vaccines this week.  Johnston Health and other providers will be getting additional vaccine allotments as well.   

Johnson & Johnson has started to distribute a third COVID-19 vaccination.  Dr. Pearson said she expects some to arrive in North Carolina this week but is unsure if Johnston County will receive any of those doses this week. The Johnston & Johnson vaccine is a single dose shot and is 67 percent effective against moderate and several cases.  

The Health Director said it’s important to continue to wear facemasks, wash your hands and stay six feet apart. 

Emergency Services Director Kevin Hubbard told commissioners the number of EMS calls for COVID patients is trending downward.