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Stanly passes 1,000 COVID cases

Stanly County joined many of its neighboring counties as it passed a grim milestone of 1,000 coronavirus cases.

The county added 40 new coronavirus cases Wednesday as the it reached 1,026 cumulative cases, according to data from the health department. It’s a significant increase from the 25 new cases reported on Tuesday.

There are 344 active cases and 16 people who are hospitalized, while 654 people who previously had the virus have recovered.

The number of deaths due to the virus has continued to increase. There are now 28 deaths in the county, more than three times the number two week ago, when there were only nine confirmed deaths. From the information available from the state, three inmates at Albemarle Correctional have died, along with two residents at Woodhaven Court and three residents at Spring Arbor.

A majority of the cases, 743, have been transmitted through human to human contact, while 209 have been transmitted through community spread.

The percentage of tests that have come back positive is around 11 percent, which is higher than the statewide total of 9 percent. An estimated 9,007 people have been tested.

The county has experienced a roughly 115 percent increase in cases since July 6, when there were only 477 reported cases, and a 37 percent increase since July 22, when there were 749 cases.

There are still 10 outbreaks in the county in congregate living facilities, the largest of which has come from Albemarle Correctional, where 106 inmates and at least 32 staff members have been infected. The second largest outbreak is at Woodhaven Court, where 41 residents and staff have been infected.

Albemarle continues to lead the county with around 548 cases and 18 deaths, followed by New London with 171 cases and three deaths, Norwood with roughly 91 cases, Locust with 63 cases and Oakboro with 59 cases, according to data from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.

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.

According to DHHS data, which charts the number of daily reported cases for each county since March, Stanly’s first significant uptick in cases came a few days after Memorial Day on May 30, when there were 15 cases.

The three largest single-day totals have all occurred over the past month and a half: 47 reported cases only July 9, 47 cases on June 22 and 38 on July 22, according to data from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.

According to the 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 12th in the state as of Wednesday with 25.7 new cases per day. Stanly was 8th in the state last week with 30 new cases.

Across the state, 129,288 cases have been confirmed after more than 1.87 million completed tests. A total of 1,167 people are hospitalized, and 2,050 people have died.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday that the state would remain in Phase 2 for an additional five weeks due to increasing cases and hospitalizations. This is the third time Cooper has extended Phase 2, which began May 22.

A total of 331 patients in the Metrolina Healthcare Preparedness Region, which Stanly and 12 other counties are part of, are hospitalized with COVID-19. Thirty-five were admitted within the past 24 hours, and 144 suspected of having COVID-19 had been admitted in that time, with 94 percent of hospitals reporting. Hospitals in the region had 91 adult patients in ICUs.

In the Metrolina Region, there were 818 empty inpatient hospital beds, including 61 ICU beds, along with 571 available ventilators.

The demographics 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). Children younger than 17 and those ages 18-24 have each accounted for around 8 percent of all cases.

Cases are split evenly among males and females while Hispanics, which make up about 4 percent of the county population, account for 15 percent of cases.

The health department tests people outside the Stanly County Commons Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. To schedule an appointment at the Stanly County Health Department drive-in testing site call
704-982-9171.

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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