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Stanly surpasses 100 COVID-19 cases

Stanly County has 102 total COVID-19 cases, as of Friday, according to the Stanly County Health Department. That is a sharp increase from two weeks ago, when the the county had roughly 40. Stanly also has four deaths, all in Albemarle.

There is usually a bit of a discrepancy between the health department’s reported case totals and those from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, which updates its numbers daily. NCDHHS reported Stanly with 103 cases on Friday.

While part of the increase can be attributed to more widespread testing in the county, Wendy Growcock, public health education specialist, said it’s also due to people recently holding large events such as birthday parties, Memorial Day cookouts and end-of-year gatherings, which were discovered through contact tracing.

“When a person is tested and comes back with a positive COVID-19 result they are asked a list of questions to develop a contact list,” she said. “Each person they were in contact with while they were able to spread the virus to others is called by the Stanly County Health Department and encouraged to make an appointment to get tested at our drive-in testing site or their healthcare provider.”

Growcock said many of the contacts associated with people who have contracted the virus have then tested positive themselves “and we start the cycle all over again.”

“We will continue to see an increase in positive cases since the criteria for testing has expanded, restrictions for businesses are relaxed, and people are getting out and congregating more as the weather becomes warmer,” said David Jenkins, director of the health department, in a press release sent Thursday evening.

Many people may be positive for the virus and not have any symptoms, Jenkins said, adding the department has reached out to more than 200 people who may have been exposed to an infected person.

The health department’s drive-in testing site, which opened May 15, has seen more than 200 people, Jenkins reported.

Under Gov. Roy Cooper’s phase 2 plan for reopening the state, which will run through at least June 26, indoor gatherings should be limited to no more than 10 people while outdoor gatherings should be limited to no more than 25 people.

The health department continues to urge people to wear face coverings in public, wash hands frequently and stay six feet apart when out in public to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

The county has 17 cases per 10,000 residents, an increase from nine cases per 10,000 two weeks ago. Stanly received its first confirmed case of the virus March 20, while its first death — a person in their 60s with underlying health conditions — occurred April 9.

Stanly has less cases than all its neighboring counties except Anson, which has 70 cases. Mecklenburg leads the state with 5,057, Randolph has 751, Rowan has 720, Union has 540, Cabarrus has 536, Davidson has 500 and Montgomery has 149.

Statewide, there are 33,255 confirmed cases with 717 people currently hospitalized and 966 deaths. There have been 482,147 total tests in the state, of which 9 percent have been positive.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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