The news Tuesday (April 14th) was not good. The number of North Carolinians hospitalized with the COVID-19 virus, which had declined for several consecutive days, increased from 313 Monday to 418 Tuesday. There are still some who believe the COVID-19 pandemic is a hoax and many who say it's time to end the restrictions on people and businesses, but the figures show the crisis isn't over.
The North Carolina death toll from COVID-19 has now surpassed 100. The North Carolina Dept. of Health & Human Services reports that as of 11 AM Tuesday (April 14th) 108 people in our state have died from illness related to the infection. 418 people in our state--up from 313 Monday, remain hospitalized because of it. There have now been confirmed cases in 93 of the state's 100 counties.
Cleveland County reported its first fatality on Tuesday. The individual died over the weekend. The patient was over age 70 and had underlying health conditions. To protect the family’s privacy, no further information about the patient will be released.
“I am deeply saddened that we have lost one of our own community members, and my heart goes out to the individual’s family,” Interim Cleveland County Health Director DeShay Oliver said. “I was hopeful that this day would not come, but I also knew that it was a possibility. This shows the reality of how serious this virus can be for those who are at highest risk for severe symptoms. The actions we take now will determine how this virus will impact our community in the weeks and months to come. We have the power to save lives. Please continue to take this virus seriously.”
Cleveland County was still reporting a total of 39 positive tests for the virus. Catawba County reported two new cases of COVID-19, bringing that county’s total number of residents who have tested positive to 38. Catawba County reports 613 negative test results. The county’s total case number is based on COVID-19 tests. Not all cases of COVID-19 are tested, so this does not represent the total number of people who have or had COVID-19.
The Lincoln County Health Dept. did not release an update on Tuesday. Lincoln County had 15 confirmed cases as of Monday afternoon. 13 of those who had the disease have since recovered; the other two were quarantined. 457 of those tested for the disease in Lincoln County had been found not to have it; one was still awaiting the results of the test.
As of Tuesday, there were 20 known active cases in Gaston County and the county has had three deaths. Gaston has had 94 positive tests, 71 of those people have since recovered.
Last week, Gaston County Commission Chairman Tracy Philbeck sent a letter to Governor Roy Cooper asking him to end the statewide stay at home order and turn control over decisions on such matters to the counties. On Tuesday, Lincoln County Commission Chairman Carrol Mitchem sent a letter modeled after Philbeck's to Cooper. The letter was released to the news media as coming from the Lincoln Board of Commissioners. CLICK HERE to read Mitchem's letter.
We will continue to report the 'facts and figures,' about the disease--as well as, whether you believe them or not, the suggestions by the medical community related to trying to slow its spread. The stay at home order including the new restrictions on the number of people allowed in retail businesses that are still able to operate may be unpopular, but the figures show that the crisis isn't over.
We have supplied the links to the reports from area counties with this article.
There’s currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19). While one drug has been touted by President Trump as a possibly effective treatment, the CDC has dropped any reference to anecdotal dosages to say now that there are no approved drugs for dealing with the disease. The latest CDC advisory says only that "hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are under investigation in clinical trials.”
Hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug, has been mentioned several times as a possible treatment. In some cases where it has been tried experimentally, it appears it may have helped, but others who have been treated with the drug have still died from the virus. Doctors warn that the drug has some possibly serious side effects and that without further evidence from trials, they do not recommend it as an approved treatment.
You can protect yourself and help prevent spreading the virus to others if you:
Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when you cough or sneeze
Avoid close contact with other people who may have the disease--even if they have no symptoms and don't know they have it
Stay home and self-isolate from others in the household if you feel unwell
Don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean
Wear a mask (or kerchief) to protect both yoursel--and others in case you have the disease but don't know it yet because you have no symptoms
Stay at home except for absolutely necessary trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, etc.
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