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Active coronavirus cases top 900 while hospitalizations hit highest total since early October

There was a significant increase in coronavirus cases over the weekend, along with hospitalizations and deaths, according to the county health department.

The county now has 902 active cases, accounting for 19 percent of the total number of cases, now at 4,645, since the pandemic began in March 2020. It’s also an 80 percent increase from the beginning of last week, when Stanly had only 488 active cases.

Stanly also experienced three additional coronavirus-related deaths since the health department’s last update on Thursday, which brings the county’s total to 93. A total of 12 people who had the virus have died since the beginning of December.

There are 30 people hospitalized, the highest single-day total since Oct. 5, when 32 people were in the hospital. It’s also double the number of people who were hospitalized at this time a month ago.

Seven people have now been reinfected with the virus, up from four last week, while 3,650 people who had the virus have recovered. Roughly 27,500 residents have been tested.

Stanly’s rolling seven-day average positivity rate is at 13.4 percent, per the state Health and Human Services Department, below the state’s overall average of 16.5 percent.

Atrium Health Stanly is currently at 90 percent capacity in terms of available ICU beds, according to New York Times analysis of data from the Department of Health and Human Resources. The hospital’s capacity is higher than the state’s average of ICU beds, which is 83 percent. When last updated Monday, the Times showed Atrium Stanly has 20 COVID-19 patients.

Even with shipments of vaccines being distributed across the state each week, with 87 people in Stanly having already received the first dose, increases in cases and hospitalizations will likely be a common occurrence in early January, the results of people gathering during the holidays, health officials said.

There are eight outbreaks in Stanly, up from six last week, according to the health department, though it doesn’t list specific locations. The state Department of Health and Human Services, which tracks outbreaks, identifies six in the county: Stanly Manor, Bethany Woods, Trinity Place, Forrest Oaks, Premier Services of the Carolinas and Spring Arbor.

Albemarle Correctional Institution, which has had 431 inmates test positive since March, has two active cases.

Below is a breakdown of the number of cases and deaths by municipality in Stanly, according to zip code data from DHHS:

  • Albemarle (28001): 1,980 cases and 60 deaths;
  • New London (28127): 785 cases and six deaths;
  • Norwood (28128): 458 cases and five deaths;
  • Locust (28097): 442 cases and zero deaths;
  • Oakboro (28129): 340 cases and four deaths;
  • Stanfield (28163): 295 cases and one death;
  • Richfield (28137): 208 cases and one death;
  • Badin (28009): No information for the town

Statewide, there are more than 570,000 total cases. A record 3,635 people are hospitalized while 6,941 people have died.

Across the country there have been more than 20 million cases with more than 345,000 deaths.

To schedule an appointment at the Stanly County Health Department drive-in testing site in Albemarle, call 704-982-9171. Testing is available at no cost.

For additional testing location options, consult the Find My Testing Place feature on the NC Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 website at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/

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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