Lee County government officials reported a sharp decline in new COVID-19 cases over the week prior, but also said a 79th county resident had died from the disease on Monday.

“Please join us in offering our condolences to the family and friends of the individual who passed away,” said Lee County Health Director Heath Cain. “As pandemic restrictions are eased across the state, we remind the public to continue following the advice of health care professionals to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. And if you haven’t already, please consider getting vaccinated – it’s the best defense against the virus and helps to keep your friends, family and neighbors safe.”

The death occurred at Central Carolina Hospital, where two other COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized, according to a press release.

Meanwhile, the county reported 44 new COVID-19 cases among residents since May 10, a decline of 18 since the county’s last report, which covered May 3-10. Details about individual patients are not released in accordance with federal health privacy laws. The number of Lee County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 now stands at 6,072.

The public is strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the virus. Individuals age 12 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine; children age 12 to 15 must have parental consent and be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when the vaccine is administered. To register for the COVID-19 vaccine, individuals may call (919) 842-5744 or to register in Spanish, (919) 718-4640 option 8. Calls will be accepted Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is also an online pre-registration form available at leecountync.gov/covid19. Once a form is submitted, staff will be in contact to complete the registration process.

The department will hold a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Tuesday for scheduled participants only at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center in Sanford. The clinic will run from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. As a reminder, individuals receiving their second dose of the vaccine should bring their vaccination record card.

Individuals may find a testing location using the NCDHHS resource at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing/find-my-testing-place.