Thursday, 07 January 2021 17:51

Richmond County, state set new daily COVID record highs

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Richmond County, state set new daily COVID record highs Pixabay

ROCKINGHAM — Both Richmond County and the state set new records for daily COVID case counts on Thursday.

The Richmond County Health Department reports there were 95 test results to come back positive, making the highest one-day total since the first case was reported in April.

The previous high was recorded on Dec. 29 with 63 cases.

The number of active cases has now risen to 410, breaking the 400 mark for the first time.

The Health Department has reported 280 cases of the coronavirus during the first week of 2021— more than half of the total from November. December, so far, has seen the most with 806.

Health and Human Services Director Dr. Tommy Jarrell said while the daily cases number was extremely high, it wasn’t surprising.

“We had certainly anticipated that the numbers were going to go up after the holidays,” he said. “What we anticipated … is certainly happening.”

According to Jarrell, there has been a lot of testing in the past week.

He said more than 200 were tested at the Health Department’s drive-thru clinic on Monday.

“We’ve never even come close to testing that many in one day,” he said.

Jarrelll said there were also more than 150 tests on Saturday — with cars wrapped around the building and onto Caroline Street — and quite a few on Tuesday.

“It’s been a very busy week,” he said, adding that doesn’t include testing at other locations.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 10,398 new cases statewide on Thursday, topping the previous record set on Jan. 1 by 871. Only seven days since Dec. 4 have had fewer than 5,000 cases.

“”These numbers paint a dark picture — COVID-19 is spreading across our state,” Gov. Roy Cooper said on Twitter Thursday. “We’re at a critical point in our fight against this virus and all need to take responsibility for our own actions.”

On Wednesday, Cooper extended his modified stay-at-home order — which was set to expire Friday — until Jan. 29 and Dr. Mandy Cohen issued a secretarial directive asking residents to stay home, wear masks and avoid crowds after the number of counties with critical community spread grew to 84.

Whereas Jarrell attributes the high number of local cases partly to the increase in testing, DHHS records appear to show there has been overall less or about the same amount of testing statewide in the past week than there was in the second half of December.


COVID-related hospitalizations have also been on the rise since November, setting records nearly every day, reaching 3,960 on Jan. 6

FirstHealth reports that 97 of its 366 patients (26.5%) are COVID-positive; Scotland Memorial Hospital had 38 isolated patients.

While he doesn’t think the uptick is over, Jarrell said the “promising news” is that the COVID-19 vaccine, though limited, is being administered.

FirstHealth and the Health Department are working together to distribute the vaccine to seniors 75 and up starting Jan. 11.

“I hate that everyone that wants it can’t get it right now, but at least it is beginning to be distributed,” Jarrell said.

He added that that population would be served for at least two weeks, based on how many want the vaccine and availability of the vaccine, before moving on to the next phase which includes essential workers.

Free COVID-19 testing will continue throughout the month in the parking lot behind the Health Department. Testing will run from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, except when closed for lunch from noon-12:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Of all the tests performed on county residents, 23,569 have returned a negative result and 2,936 have been positive.


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

  •  0-18 - 436 (+20) 
  • 19-30 - 479 (+17)
  • 31-40 - 392 (+6)
  • 41-50 - 498 (+15) 
  • 51-64 - 616 (+21)
  • 65-older - 515 (+12)

(+ Denotes increase from previous report)

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

  • Rockingham - 242
  • Hamlet - 119
  • Ellerbe - 41
  • Hoffman - 5
  • Mount Gilead - 0
  • Marston - 3
  • Jackson Springs - 0

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

  • Mecklenburg - 68,155 (other counties to top 10,000 are Wake, Guilford, Forsyth, Durham, Alamance, Buncombe, Cumberland, Gaston, Pitt, Johnston, Cabarrus, Catawba, Iredell, Union, New Hanover, Rowan and Robeson)
  • Union - 14,033
  • Stanly - 4,777
  • Montgomery - 2,124
  • Anson - 1,567
  • Moore - 5,434 (763 active) 
  • Hoke - 2,977
  • Scotland - 2,794
  • Robeson - 10,352 (more than higher-populated counties New Hanover and Buncombe)

All numbers are from DHHS except Moore and Scotland.

Tyrrell County, the smallest by population, remains the only one of the state’s 100 counties to have fewer than 200 cases with 191.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is reporting (as of Jan. 5) 2,549 total cases in Chesterfield County and 2,070 in Marlboro County.