A 67th Lee County resident has died from COVID-19, the Health Department announced on Friday.

“I am saddened to report another county COVID-19 death today,” said Lee County Health Director Heath Cain. “Please keep the family and friends of the individual in your thoughts and prayers and join us in offering our sincere condolences for the loss of their loved one. We are reminded that even as the number of new cases identified declines, COVID-19 remains a serious public health threat that requires the community maintain health and safety measures to help slow the spread of the virus. The Health Department continues to support COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and vaccinations; and we ask that people remain vigilant and continue following the three W’s – wear a face mask when in public, wait six feet or more away from others, and wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.”

Information about the patient was not released in accordance with federal health privacy laws. The death comes at a time when cases appear to be on a downward trend – in both of the past two weeks, new cases counts have numbered in the 160s, after several weeks with significantly higher numbers of infections. The last death before Friday occurred on Feb. 5.

The Health Department is currently registering individuals for the COVID-19 vaccine in Groups 1 and 2 of the NCDHHS vaccine rollout plan that includes essential healthcare workers, long-term care facility staff and residents, and adults age 65 and older, as well as teachers and childcare workers who become eligible to receive the vaccine on February 24. The county will begin registering other individuals in Group 3 starting on March 10.  The current NCDHHS rollout plan may be found at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines.

To register for the vaccine with the Lee County Health Department, the public may call 919-352-3360 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; to speak to someone in Spanish, please call 919-718-4640, option 8. Due to high call volume, individuals may need to call multiple times to reach a staff member to initiate registration. Alternatively, the public may complete a pre-registration form available online at leecountync.gov/covid19. Individuals that submit a pre-registration form AND are currently eligible to receive the vaccine may expect to receive a call from the Health Department within five to seven business days to complete the registration process and receive information about the next available vaccine clinic.  Vaccine supply remains extremely limited. Individuals registering for the vaccine may have to wait up to several weeks to receive their first dose.