More than 130 new Covid cases reported since Monday
Published 5:32 pm Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Not even halfway through the five-day work week and Stanly County has already surpassed the COVID-19 case totals from last week. Such is the nature of a virus that is spreading faster and faster with each successive week as vaccinations in the county continue to stall.
Through Wednesday, the county has reported 134 cases, with 12 people hospitalized, according to data from the health department. That’s 10 more cases than were reported last week. (The department only reports data Monday through Friday)
Cases are rapidly increasing in Stanly County due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, which now accounts for roughly 93 percent of all new infections, according to the CDC. The surge in cases comes as only 33 percent of Stanly residents are fully vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in the state. Even smaller neighboring counties like Anson and Montgomery have slightly higher vaccination percentages.
In Stanly, as in much of the state, vaccination rates have declined for younger populations. Almost 70 percent of people 65 and older in Stanly are fully vaccinated, but the rate drops precipitously to 41 percent for all residents 18 and older.
The county’s positivity rate has also ballooned over the past month and is now at almost 14 percent, well above the target rate of being less than five percent. At the end of June, the county’s rate was only around two percent.
There have been almost 8,300 cumulative cases since the pandemic first began last spring.
The exponential growth of the virus over the past month has contributed to a few guidelines enacted this week to help curb the spread. Albemarle City Manager Michael Ferris announced a mask mandate for all staff and visitors while inside city facilities. The school board voted to require masks for students and staff to begin the school year.
Major hospital systems, including Atrium Health and Novant, are also requiring their employees to get vaccinated.
And it’s not just Stanly — cases are increasing at an alarming rate all across the state. North Carolina reported 3,413 new cases Wednesday, the highest single-day total the state has reported since February.