Lincoln County reported 173 active cases Friday, down from 214 on Tuesday. The report still showed 24 deaths. The Health Dept. no longer shows total cases or new cases daily, but based on our records of reports, Lincoln County had 69 new cases Friday and now has had 3,118 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began.
Catawba County reported its highest one day total of new cases yet on Friday--120 and added 53 more Saturday. Catawba County has had more than 90 new cases per day in eight days out of the last two weeks. Four more deaths this week brought the county's death toll to 82. 55 Catawba County residents were hospitalized with the virus.
Gaston County has joined Catawba County in no longer reporting its number of active cases, but the county's total number of positive cases since the pandemic began has now increased to 9,338. 193 new cases were confirmed from Thursday until Friday. Six more Gaston County residents have died from the disease since Monday, bringing the total to 178. 53 Gaston County residents remain hospitalized.
Cleveland County's total number of confirmed cases increased to 3,916 Friday with 241 new cases in the last seven days and 427 in the last two weeks. 75 of those were reported in the last two days. 27 Cleveland County residents are hospitalized, and 103 have died from COVID-19.
Statewide, the NCDHHS reported 3,688 new cases Friday after setting a one-day record Thursday with 4,296 new cases. 1,571 people are hospitalized withtthe virus, the biggest number yet. 4,979 North Carolinians have now died from the virus.
The first news conference by the White House Coronavirus Task Force in several months was held Thursday, primarily to announce that two vaccines may soon get approval. Drs. Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci both emphasized the need for people to continue wearing masks and taking other precautions to help slow the spread of the virus. Dr. Fauci added, "when you hear the cavalry is coming, you don't stop shooting."
The CDC issued preliminary reports on two studies Friday, one showing Trends in County-Level COVID-19 Incidence in Counties With and Without a Mask Mandate in Kansas, June 1-August 23, 2020; and the other information related to a COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with a 10-Day Motorcycle Rally in a Neighboring State (South Dakota) and its impact in Minnesota, August-September 2020. Essentially, the two reports show that mass gatherings, especially without wearing masks, cause significant spread of the disease; and wearing masks does help to slow the spread based on the incidence of the virus in the Kansas counties with a mask mandate compared to the ones without.
As one health official put it, "we're not trying to impose on your rights by asking you to wear a mask--we're trying to save your life and those of other people."