Wednesday, 09 December 2020 16:49

N.C. sets new record in daily COVID case count

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ROCKINGHAM — North Carolina set yet another record high of nearly 6,500 new positive COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, including more than 30 in Richmond County.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 6,495 new cases — 57 seven more than the last record set on Dec. 6. This is the third time this month daily coronavirus cases have been above 6,000.

“A month ago, we were deeply concerned to see daily case counts go above 3,000,” Gov. Roy Cooper said during a press conference Tuesday. “Now we’re shocked that the number has doubled ..” 

Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said there were more cases in a single day than the entire population of Cooper’s hometown of Nashville in Nash County, which is 5,352 according to the town’s website.

The Richmond County Health Department reported 32 new cases, bringing the total number of active cases up to 288, also a record high. Of those, 22 are hospitalized.

The state has seen a continuous increase in COVID-related hospitalizations over the last month, with 2,440 being treated as of Dec. 8. On Nov. 7, the number of hospitalizations was 1,138.

“We are setting records, both for the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 and the number of people in the intensive care unit,” Cohen said Tuesday. “Hospitals are feeling the strain.”

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 Tuesday, there were 274 individuals hospitalized in the region — 29  admitted within the past 24 hours — with 92% of hospitals reporting, according to DHHS.

Of FirstHealth’s 390 patients, 60 (15.4%) have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Two local patients who were in a hospital died within the past 24 hours, the Health Department announced earlier Wednesday.

The Health Department has reported 288 new cases so far this month and 2,138 since the first case was announced in April. Richmond was one of the last 10 counties to report its first case.

The number of counties declared as having critical community spread more than doubled from 20 to 48 since the COVID-19 County Alert System was introduced last month, prompting Cooper to set a curfew, with some exceptions. Richmond, Scotland, Anson and Union were among those counties.

See the report attached at the bottom of this story.

DHHS reports there have been a total of 5,731,775 tests completed in the state, with 410,527 positive cases, 341,041 of whom are presumed to have recovered. (Recoveries are updated on Mondays.) There have also been 5,661 COVID-related deaths in the state.

Of the 61,947 tests completed by FirstHealth: 6,768 have been positive; 54,224 have been negative; and 306 results are still pending.

Richmond County has had 19,414 negative test results, and 1,784 recoveries.

In the past two days, Richmond County Schools has reported eight new cases: 

  • Three staff members - two at East Rockingham, one at Washington Street
  • Three traditional students - two at Hamlet Middle and one at Fairview Heights*
  • Two virtual students - one each at Hamlet Middle and Richmond Senior.

(*Fairview Heights was closed for two weeks in October when the school had a cluster of cases.)

Since the district started keeping track, school related cases have included: 48 school staff members; nine central office staffers; 38 traditional students; and 93 virtual students.

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 and following the directions at the top or by calling 877-562-4850.


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

  • 0-18 - 316 (+1)
  • 19-30 - 353 (+5) 
  • 31-40 - 289 (+6)
  • 41-50 - 372 (+8) 
  • 51-64 - 449 (+9)
  • 65-older - 366 (+3) 

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

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

  • Rockingham - 1150 (177 active)
  • Hamlet - 620 (102 active)
  • Ellerbe - 184 (24 active)
  • Hoffman - 154 (3 active)
  • Mount Gilead - 10 (0 active)
  • Marston - 19 (4 active)
  • Jackson Springs - 1 (0 active)

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

  • Mecklenburg - 48,673 (other counties to top 10,000 are Wake, Guilford, Forsyth, Durham, Cumberland and Gaston. All are among the state’s 10 most-populated counties.)
  • Union - 9,040
  • Stanly - 3,348
  • Montgomery - 1,529
  • Anson - 1,047
  • Moore - 3,492 (638 active, 70 deaths)
  • Hoke - 2,181
  • Scotland - 2,132
  • Robeson - 7,937 (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.

Only two counties of the state's 100 have had fewer than 200 total cases: Tyrrell (153); and Hyde (192). More than 70 have topped the 1,000 mark.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is reporting (as of Dec. 2) 1,912 total cases and 57 deaths in Chesterfield County and 1,587 cases and 20 deaths in Marlboro County.