The ongoing pandemic continues.
According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), as of Monday, Feb. 1, Mitchell County had 159 positive cases in the last two weeks.
In previous months, the Mitchell County Health Department has been reporting positive cases weekly on their Facebook page. However, the health department has not reported the case numbers since Jan. 17.
This is likely due to the department’s primary focus on the vaccine rollout in the region, including the two pop-up vaccination clinics held Jan. 14 and Jan. 20 at the Spruce Pine Fire Department.
The department had scheduled another pop-up clinic for Jan. 21, but ran out of vaccines and canceled the event. The health department said they plan to hold more clinics in the future, but have to wait on more vaccines.
A statement from a NCDHHS spokesperson on Jan. 23 explained the state was allocating a bulk of the vaccines received at the end of January to mass vaccination clinics at places like Charlotte Motor Speedway and Bank of America Stadium in an effort to boost the vaccine rollout in the state.
“A large portion of those doses are committed to the large-scale events planned to address the backlog,” the statement read. “As a result, many providers are getting small allocations or zero allocations for the week of 1/27. We know this is causing pain among providers who did an incredible job working to vaccinate residents quickly.”
Because of this, many local health departments, including Mitchell’s, did not receive accination allotments in the last week of January.
There is no word yet from the health department when another vaccine clinic will be held in Mitchell County, but follow the News-Journal for updates on the rollout process.