4/22/2020 1:02:00 PM COVID-19 Update Latest figures as of Wednesday April 22nd
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
First, as promised, the latest figures on the COVID-19 pandemic:
Worldwide, the death toll related to the COVID-19 pandemic now stands as 183,520.
The World Health Organization says there are 1,730,269 currently infected (active) cases. Of those, 1,673,591 (97%) have only mild symptoms. 56,678 (3%) are in serious or critical condition.
The WHO says 715,579 (80%) of those who have been infected have now recovered or been discharged from hospitals, while 183,520 (20%) have died.
In the US, the death toll is now 47,227, up by 1,909 from Tuesday's figure. There were 25,696 new cases reported Wednesday.
Lincoln County added three more confirmed cases since Monday, bringing the total to 25--of those, 10 are still active and 15 have recovered. Six people are still awaiting results of their tests.
Gaston County has now had 127 positive tests--of those, three died, 122 recovered, and 22 are still active.
Catawba County had three new cases since Tuesday bringing the total there to 47. Catawba County has had one death and has two patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19.
Cleveland County has had 45 confirmed cases; 29 of those have recovered, two died.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious effect on world health--but it has also been terrible for the world economy. The closure of stores in many states has caused some to have problems paying their bills and putting food on the table.
Kathy Vinzant, executive director of the United Way of Lincoln County, serves as the State Coordinator for Food Security in Lincoln County and reports to Bill Summers, Emergency Management Director, on the data. She also serves as the EFSP (Emergency Food & Shelter Program) administrator for Lincoln County, and the numbers she collects help in presenting Lincoln County's case to FEMA about the needs in the county.
Since Lincoln County Schools began their feeding program during the school closure on March 16th, the Schools had distributed 153,098 meals through Monday April 19th, not including the Schools "backpack" program which provided 2,736 meals.
Since the beginning of March, Lincoln County Christian Ministry in Lincolnton, which operates a soup kitchen on S. Poplar St., has provided 29,973 meals.
East Lincoln Christian Ministry in Denver has provided groceries for multiple families and churches from all over the county have been helpful in their communities.
Vinzant said she is trying to gather more information about various groups and their efforts: "It would be great if we could get all the churches to email me their contact information and numbers they're feeding so we can know what they are doing during these uncertain times."
Other feeding programs in our area include the Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry in Newton and the Dallas-High Shoals Christian Ministry in Dallas.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also split the country and the state politically--even more than it already was. Many Republicans--including local representative Jason Saine and Senator Ted Alexander--are pushing Governor Roy Cooper to begin cutting back on the restrictions imposed in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. Cooper may announce on Thursday some plans related to reopening closed businesses. He's also expected to announce that schools won't reopen this school year. County Commissioners in Lincoln & Gaston counties have asked Cooper to turn decisions on businesses, etc. over to them. Both boards are, of course, all Republicans.
A survey of North Carolinians found that a majority of both parties think it may be too soon to totally end the restrictions, but the margin among Republicans were very small, much larger among Democrats.
South Carolina has ended many restrictions--allowing some businesses that were closed to reopen including barber shops, hair and nail salons and restaurants. Tennessee has also relaxed restrictions, as have Georgia & Florida. All of those states have Republican governors.
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