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Stanly continues to see rapid increase in COVID-19

Stanly County’s number of cases has increased 34 percent since Friday morning.

There are 274 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Monday morning, according to the latest data from the health department, up from 204 reported cases Friday morning.

There are currently 107 active cases and 162 people have recovered. Five people have died.

There have also been five outbreaks in congregate-living settings in the county. These outbreaks have occurred at the Albemarle Correctional Institution, two Monarch group homes, Woodhaven Court, Spring Arbor and Bethany Woods.

North Carolina Department of Public Safety has begun a plan to test all offenders in state prisons, beginning with those at ACI. There have been 217 tests performed at the facility, as of Monday, with 58 offenders testing positive for COVID-19, according to NCDPS data. An additional 12 staff members have contracted the virus and all except one, who has recovered, are off the job.

An outbreak in these settings is defined by the state as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases.

Infections in Stanly have rapidly increased over the past few weeks as more people are leaving their homes to take advantage of stores and restaurants opening back up.

Other nearby counties have also seen recent spikes in cases. The Salisbury Post reported Monday that Rowan County has surpassed 1,000 cases while Cabarrus has more than 800 cases and Charlotte has almost 9,000 cases, according to state data.

“We’re seeing a significant spread of COVID-19 cases across the state,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Mandy Cohen, in a press conference Monday afternoon, citing that several metrics, like hospitalizations, cases and cases coming back negative are “moving in the wrong directions.” She said the increases in cases have been largely for people under the age of 50 (people ages 25 to 49 account for 45 percent of total cases) and added that Latino and black communities have also been hit hard by the virus.

Cohen said county-specific demographic data, such as race, ethnicity, gender and age, will be included on the NCDHHS website beginning Monday night.

At least 53,605 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in North Carolina and 1,223 have died as of Monday, according to data from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. More than 757,345 tests have been completed, with 9 percent coming back positive.

The county has 45 cases per 10,000 residents, an increase from 31 cases per 10,000 residents last Friday. 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.

A total of 870 people are hospitalized, which is a slight decrease from two days ago, when 883 people were in hospitals, the highest one-day total the state has reported.

To combat the increasing rise in cases and hospitalizations, Gov. Roy Cooper is considering making face coverings mandatory. Cooper said he will decide early this week whether to extend Phase 2, which is set to expire June 26, or modify it in some way. He said at a news briefing last week that his decision will be based on science and data.

“We are trying to find the right balance between reigniting the economy and protecting public health,” Cohen said about reopening the state.

The United States leads the world with almost 2.3 million cases and almost 120,000 deaths.

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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