Monday, 07 December 2020 20:38

More than 80 new COVID cases reported in Richmond County, 12k across state over weekend

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ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County broke the 2,000 mark over the weekend as the state saw more than 12,000 new cases of COVID-19.


The Richmond County Health Department on Monday reported 81 new cases, averaging 27 per day over the past three days.

The new cases bring the county’s total to 2,063 since the first case was reported in April.

There are currently 247 active cases — the most the county has experienced at one time. Of those 230 are under home isolation and 17 are hospitalized, both new record highs.

Richmond County Schools on Monday reported seven new school related cases: 

  • Two staff members - one each at Monroe Avenue and Richmond Senior
  • Three traditional students - one each at Fairview Heights, L.J. Bell and Hamlet Middle
  • One virtual student - Monroe Avenue
  • One staff member at Central Services

There were 15 school-related cases last week. Overall, RCS has had 45 staff members, 92 virtual students, 34 traditional students and eight workers in the central office test positive.

North Carolina has seen more than 4,000 cases each day over the past six days, with new record highs reported both Saturday and Sunday.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported: 

  • Dec. 5 - 6,018
  • Dec. 6 - 6,438
  • Dec. 7 - 4,372

“This is very worrisome,” Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said in a statement Saturday, the first time the state had more than 6,000 cases in one day. 

“We are seeing our highest rates of tests that come back positive despite the fact we are doing a lot of testing,” Cohen continued. “This indicates we have even more viral spread across our state right now.”

Richmond County has reported 213 coronavirus cases during the first week of December — already half of the 403 cases in November and 401 in October.

Cohen added that N.C. is experiencing a record number of residents admitted to hospitals and intensive care units with COVID-19.

Statewide hospitalizations have been steadily increasing since mid-November, from 1,138 on Nov. 7 to 2,240 on Dec. 6.

Richmond County is grouped with Moore, Montgomery, Chatham, Alamance, Orange, Hoke, Cumberland and Sampson counties in the Mid Carolina Regional Health Care Coalition.

As of Sunday, there were 253 individuals hospitalized in the region — 36 admitted within the past 24 hours — with 92% of hospitals reporting.

State records show 387 ICU beds in use in the region, with 82 still available. As for inpatient hospital beds, 2,095 are in use, 643 are empty and 563 are unreported or unstaffed.

FirstHealth reported Monday that 64 of its 372 (17.2%) patients have tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I am asking each North Carolinian to take personal responsibility for their actions and slowing the spread of this virus,” Cohen said. “Always wear a mask when with people you don’t live with, keep your distance from other people and wash your hands often. We are looking at what further actions we can take as a state to protect North Carolinians and save lives.”

Gov. Roy Cooper has also hinted at taking more stringent actions.

“If we don’t slow this trend, more North Carolinians will die,” Cooper said in a Monday morning tweet.

Late last month, Cooper issued another executive order, giving law enforcement authority to issue citations for those not wearing masks. The order also requires state residents to wear masks when around others — even in vehicles — who are not a part of the same household.

That order is scheduled to expire at 5 p.m. Dec. 11.

DHHS reports there have been a total of 5,630,137 tests completed in the state, with 399,362 positive cases, 341,041 of whom are presumed to have recovered. There have also been 5,560 COVID-related deaths in the state, including 42 in Richmond County.

Of the 60,730 tests completed by FirstHealth: 6,581 have been positive; 53,356 have been negative; and 153 results are still pending.

Richmond County has had 18,817 negative test results, and 1,774 recoveries.

The Health Department is offering free COVID testing in the lot behind the building until Dec. 31. Testing will run from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday — except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

There will also be free testing at the following locations:

  • Cole Auditorium parking lot - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 7-11
  • Ellerbe Middle School parking lot - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 14-18

Each site is closed for lunch from noon-12:30 p.m.

Register for testing by visiting www.lhi.care and following the directions at the top or by calling 877-562-4850.

BY THE NUMBERS

The number of local cases per age group are as follows (includes recoveries):

  • 0-18 - 309 (+13)
  • 19-30 - 344 (+7) 
  • 31-40 - 269 (+10)
  • 41-50 - 360 (+10) 
  • 51-64 - 416 (+14)
  • 65-older - 355 (+27) 

( + indicates the increase in cases per age group from the previous report.)

The total number of cases per ZIP code are as follows:

  • Rockingham - 1097 (131 active)
  • Hamlet - 607 (93 active)
  • Ellerbe - 176 (16 active)
  • Hoffman - 154 (4 active)
  • Mount Gilead - 10 (0 active)
  • Marston - 18 (3 active)
  • Jackson Springs - 1 (0 active)

Seventy-three of the state’s 100 counties have now experienced more than 1,000 total cases, and three others — Bertie, Macon and Martin — are nearing that mark with more than 900 each.

Only three counties have had fewer than 200 cases, and they are all in the northeast corner of the state: Tyrrell (149), Camden (191), and Hyde (189). 

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

  • Mecklenburg - 47,547 (other counties to top 10,000 are Wake, Guilford, Forsyth, Durham and Gaston. All are among the state’s 10 most-populated counties.)
  • Union - 8,749
  • Stanly - 3,241
  • Montgomery - 1,501
  • Anson - 1,021
  • Moore - 3,392 (542 active, 66 deaths)
  • Hoke - 2,137
  • Scotland - 2,092
  • Robeson - 7,824 (more than higher-populated counties New Hanover and Buncombe)

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

Robeson, Hoke and Montgomery counties are among those listed as having critical community spread by DHHS. The report hasn’t been updated since Nov. 23, but it’s likely Richmond and Scotland counties could wind up in the same category.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is reporting (as of Dec. 2) 1,877 total cases and 56 deaths in Chesterfield County and 1,558 cases and 20 deaths in Marlboro County.

 

Last modified on Monday, 07 December 2020 20:50