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Stanly passes 600 COVID-19 cases, death total rises

Stanly County had 19 new cases Wednesday, bringing its cumulative total to at least 610, including 78 cases which are still currently active.

There are five people who are currently hospitalized and 524 people have recovered.

There are now eight deaths in the county, including an inmate in his 50s at Albemarle Correctional Institution who died Tuesday. The others were a person in their 70s and a person in their 80s.

A majority of the cases, 461, have been transmitted through human to human contact, while 127 have been transmitted through community spread. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

The percentage of tests that have come back positive is 9 percent, which is slightly above the statewide total of 8 percent. An estimated 6,883 people have been tested.

The increase in the amount of cases in Stanly County has been most pronounced over the past month. The county has experienced a 265 percent increase since June 15, when there were only 167 reported cases.

On July 9, 47 new cases were reported, the highest one-day total since the pandemic began in March, according to data from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. The second-highest total of 43 new cases occurred a few weeks ago on June 22.

There have been nine outbreaks in the county in congregate living facilities, the largest of which has come from Albemarle Correctional, where 98 inmates and at least 17 staff members have been infected.

Albemarle leads the county with around 276 cases, followed by New London with 123 cases, Norwood with roughly 64 cases, Oakboro with 41 cases and Locust with 36 cases, according to the DHHS data.

According to a Harvard University interactive COVID risk assessment map, which charts coronavirus risks by state and county according to the number of new cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days, Stanly ranks 19th in the state as of Wednesday with 21.2 new cases per day, an improvement from last week, when the county was ranked ninth in the state.

Stanly has less confirmed cases than all of its nearby counties, many which are larger, except Anson (218), Montgomery (417) and Richmond (375).

Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday that Phase 2 of the state’s reopening will be extended another three weeks after Friday, when it was set to expire. This means that bars, gyms, yoga studios, etc. will not be allowed to reopen until at least mid-August.

He also announced schools will be open next month for a blend of in-person and remote learning with a raft of safety protocols that will be in place including daily temperature tests, face covering requirements for students, teachers and staff and limiting capacity in the schools.

At least 91,266 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 1,568 have died. Almost 1.3 million tests have also been completed. The state had its highest one-day total on Saturday, with 2,462 cases reported.

DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said Tuesday that the case numbers continue to “trend upward” and the trajectory of hospitalizations continue to trend upward “but we still have capacity.”

“We continue to simmer, but we’ve avoided boiling over as many states are doing now,” Cohen added.

The number of people reported hospitalized with the coronavirus in North Carolina reached another single-day high on Wednesday, with 1,142, with 89 percent of hospitals reporting.

Roughly 24 percent of the state’s 21,222 licensed inpatient hospital beds are empty while about 19 percent of the 3,223 ICU beds are empty as of Friday. Also 28 percent of the total ventilators in the state are in use.

The demographic numbers continue to stay relatively constant in Stanly, with people ages 25 to 49 being the group most likely to contract the virus (42 percent of all cases) followed by those ages 50 to 64 (25 percent). White people have accounted for 65 percent of cases, followed by Black people with 30 percent.

Males in the county accounted for 53 percent of the cases and Hispanics account for 22 percent of cases.

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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