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Richmond County sets new one-day record, more COVID cases reported at Morrison CI


ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County set a new record high for coronavirus cases Monday, with most coming out of Morrison Correctional Institution.

The Richmond County Health Department reported 42 new positive cases, with the number of active cases in Hoffman jumping from 15 on Saturday to 41 on Monday.

According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety, Morrison had 56 active cases on Monday. There were only 12 reported on Friday.

Prison records show 103 inmates have tested positive, 303 have tested negative and 44 have recovered. A cumulative total of 738 tests have been performed on 405 inmates.

Records on the DPS website only list the number of inmates that have tested positive. State prison officials on Friday did not have a count for staff.

Morrison was previously the site of an outbreak about a month ago. At that time, a total of 26 staffers had contracted the virus since the pandemic began and 13 were current patients.

On Oct. 12, DPS began a staff testing pilot project at three prisons, including Scotland Correctional, which currently has 69 active cases and has had a total of 417 inmates test positive.

Mountain View CI in Spruce Pine currently has 102 active cases, the most of any prison in the state system.

The county currently has 178 active cases, with 169 under home isolation and nine hospitalized.

The Health Department also reported the 27th COVID-related death Monday morning.

Richmond County has now had a total of 1,315 positive cases, 1,110 recoveries and 12,149 negative test results, according to the Health Department.

Richmond County Schools reported on Monday that there were two students — one traditional at Fairview Heights and one virtual at Richmond Senior — and one staff member, at West Rockingham, who tested positive over the weekend.

In all, the school district has had 36 virtual students, 10 traditional students, 23 school staffers and 4 staff members from the central office to test positive.

While the number of per diem positive cases in the county has increased, the number of new cases across the state dropped from 2,684 on Friday — a record high — to 1,144 on Monday, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.


As of Oct. 18, there were 1,142 North Carolinians hospitalized with COVID-19, with 270 being admitted within 24 hours of the update.


The number of local cases per age group are as follows:

  • 0-18 – 170
  • 19-30 – 225
  • 31-40 – 170
  • 41-50 – 236
  • 50-64 – 275
  • 65-older – 239

The number of cases per ZIP code are as follows:

  • Rockingham – 691 (85 active)
  • Hamlet – 366 (44 active)
  • Ellerbe – 122 (5 active)
  • Hoffman – 116 (41 active)
  • Mount Gilead – 10 (0 active)
  • Marston – 9 (2 active)

Sixty of the state’s 100 counties that have now experienced more than 1,000 total cases: Alamance, Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Burke, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Carteret, Craven, Franklin, Chatham, Cleveland, Columbus, Cumberland, Davidson, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Gaston, Granville, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Henderson, Hoke, Iredell, Johnston, Lee, Lenoir, Lincoln, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Onlsow, Orange, Pender, Pitt, Randolph, Richmond, Rowan, Robeson, Rockingham, Rutherford, Sampson, Scotland, Stanly, Surry, Union, Vance, Wake, Watauga, Wayne, Wilkes and Wilson.

(NOTE: DHHS still shows Carteret County with fewer than 1,000 cases, but the local health department reports 1,160.)

Tyrell County has had the fewest number of total cases at 123, followed by Camden (133) and Madison (154).

Compared to other counties with a population between 43,000 and 48,000, Richmond tops the list. McDowell and Beaufort counties follow at 1,215 and 1,214, respectively.

Vance County has had 1,135 cases. The other three counties in the same population bracket have lesser totals: Vance (1,147); Jackson (853); and Stokes (626).

The total numbers (including recoveries) for surrounding counties are as follows:

  • Mecklenburg -31,820 (the only other counties to top 10,000 are Wake with 19,888 and Guilford with 10,514)
  • Union – 5,616
  • Stanly – 2,370
  • Montgomery – 1,146
  • Anson – 696
  • Moore – 2,129 (228 active, 38 deaths)
  • Hoke – 1,460
  • Scotland – 1,541
  • Robeson – 5,637

All numbers are from DHHS except Moore, which are from the local health department, as there has been a discrepancy with the state. 

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is reporting 1,427 total cases and 41 deaths in Chesterfield County and 1,063 cases and 12 deaths in Marlboro County.

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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.