Stanly drops out of high COVID-19 level as new cases appear to be declining

Published 3:53 pm Friday, August 12, 2022

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Stanly County has officially moved out of the high COVID-19 community level as confirmed cases have declined slightly over the past few weeks.

The county had been labeled orange by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which signifies high community levels, since the week of July 22, but moved to yellow, the medium level, this week.

Stanly had been green, representing a low level of spread, for many weeks in June and July, before a recent spike in new cases. The Stanly County Health Department reported 262 new cases at the end of July, the highest weekly total since Feb. 11, when 268 cases were reported, but the weekly totals have fallen since then.

There have been 203 new cases this week, according to the health department — almost the same as last week, when there was 205, but a 22 percent decrease since the July 29 total.

There have likely been many more cases in the community that have gone unreported as at-home tests are not included in the weekly numbers, health officials said.

Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, there have been more than 21,200 reported cases in Stanly County.

Three additional deaths this week brings the cumulative total since the pandemic began to 285. So far this year, there have been 63 deaths due to Covid.

Currently, 48 percent of Stanly's population has received at least one dose of the vaccine while 45 percent received both doses, according to state data. Additionally, 25 percent of residents have received a booster shot.

People infected with the BA.5, an Omicron subvariant and the most dominant strain in the country, may develop a cough, runny nose, sore throat, fatigue, headaches and muscle pains. However, they are less likely to lose their senses of taste and smell, or to experience shortness of breath, as compared with those infected with Delta or other variants of the coronavirus.

During a Covid update before the Stanly County Board of Commissioners Monday night, health director David Jenkins said eight people were hospitalized at Atrium Stanly with Covid, with the ages ranging from mid-60s to mid-90s. Over the past 60 days, eight people have died, with ages ranging from 64 to 90, with only one person being fully vaccinated. Jenkins estimated that most likely several of the deceased had underlying health conditions.

When asked how effective booster shots are against BA.5, Jenkins said they will not stop everyone from possibly getting infected but will prevent many people from getting hospitalized and dying.

"Those that have been vaccinated or previously infected are faring a lot better than those that have not," Jenkins said.

Jenkins said any person in need of tests can come to the health department and receive free at-home test kits.

The department's Covid vaccine clinic is open Monday through Wednesday as follows:

  • 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday — Moderna shots for children 6 months to 11 years and Pfizer shots for children 5-11;
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday — Moderna shots for anyone 12 and up; and
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday — Pfizer shots for anyone 12 and up.


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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