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home : news : news December 3, 2020

9/1/2020 6:39:00 PM
COVID-19 Update

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer


Lincoln County's number of active COVID-19 cases increased slightly Tuesday compared to the number reported last Friday. It was 85 Tuesday, up by eight cases. The number of deaths related to the disease didn't increase; it's still 13, seven of those at one congregate living facility. The number of people from Lincoln County who have now recovered from the coronavirus topped a thousand for the first time--1,012. Twelve people were awaiting test results.

Catawba County reported two more deaths from the virus. That brings their total to 47. The number of new cases in Catawba County is slowing...only seven were reported Monday and only 12 more Tuesday. Hospitalizations were down to 12.

Gaston County also had two more deaths, bringing its total to 66. The county's number of active cases also increased slightly from Monday; it's now 1,203.

Cleveland County has now had 45 deaths; they reported 168 active cases Monday.

Statewide, the number of new cases nearly doubled Tuesday compared to the number reported Monday. The NCDHHS reported 2,111 new cases. The death count increased to 2,763. The number of patients currently in the hospital is 946.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced that effective at 5 PM Friday, the state will enter Phase 2.5 of his reopening plan. More businesses will be allowed to reopen, but younger children will be required to wear masks in public.

The shift to Phase 2.5 involves the following changes:

  • Outdoor playgrounds can reopen. Indoor playgrounds can operate at 30 percent capacity, or up to seven people per 1,000 square feet.
  • Museums and aquariums can operate at 50 percent capacity, or up to 12 people per 1,000 square feet.
  • Gyms, bowling alleys, skating rinks and other indoor exercise facilities can operate at 30 percent capacity, or up to seven people per 1,000 square feet.
  • Mass gathering limits will be raised from 10 to 25 people indoors and from 25 to 50 people outside.
  • Masks will be required in public for anyone age 5 and older (it had previously been 11 and older).

Outdoor visitations at nursing homes also can resume Friday under a separate order issued by Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Facilities must meet several requirements, including not having a current outbreak, having a testing plan, having an infection control plan for the virus in place and having adequate personal protective equipment.

Cohen said outdoor visits are already allowed at other long-term care facilities, but nursing homes have the most "medically frail" residents.

Many gyms and fitness centers have already reopened, using an exception under a previous executive order that allowed them to serve people who needed to exercise for health reasons. Most of them, based on casual observation, were actually operating just as they did before the pandemic began. That medical exception will be eliminated Friday under the new order, and those gyms will be expected to follow the new rules for limited capacity, social distancing and cleaning protocols.

Gym customers will have to wear masks except when they are "strenuously exercising," according to Cooper's order. Workers are also required to wash their hands immediately upon reporting to work, after contact with customers, after performing cleaning and disinfecting activities, and frequently throughout the day. Gyms and fitness centers are also supposed to disinfect all shared equipment between users with an EPA-approved disinfectant for the virus that causes COVID-19, and increase disinfection during peak times or high-population-density times.

The following facilities are required to stay closed:

  • Bingo parlors, including bingo sites operated by charitable organizations
  • Bridge clubs
  • Movie theaters (except for drive-in theaters, and except for movies shown in a park or other open outdoor space which complies with the mass gathering restrictions)
  • Bars or lounges (such as cigar bars and hookah lounges) in which tobacco or related products are consumed on-premises
  • Gaming and business establishments which allow gaming activities (e.g., video poker, gaming, sweepstakes, video games, arcade games, pinball machines or other computer, electronic or mechanical devices played for amusement)
  • Pool halls, billiard parlors, and billiard rooms
  • Amusement parks
  • Tour buses, tour trains, or other scenic and sightseeing transportation that is conducted not to go from one place to another place, but for amusement
  • Bars
  • Night clubs, dance halls, or music halls where patrons are not seated
All of those will remain closed until at least Oct. 2nd.

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The NC Department of Health and Human Services updates its report on COVID-19 outbreaks at congregate living facilities twice weekly--on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. The report provides the names of facilities where there is an ongoing outbreak and the number of positive COVID-19 cases at the facility. A COVID-19 outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases.

SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 UPDATE

Catawba County:

  • Brian Center Health & Rehab/Hickory East: 6 staff members & 24 residents tested positive, 7 residents died
  • Trinity Ridge: 17 staff members & 19 residents tested positive, 5 residents died
  • Trinity Village: 4 staff members & 2 residents tested positive
  • Catawba Valley Living at Rock Barn: 4 staff members and one resident tested postive, that resident died
  • Elmcroft Assisted Living: one staff member and 4 residents tested positive

Cleveland County:

  • Peak Resources, Shelby: two staff members tested positive
  • White Oak Manor, Shelby: 24 staff members and 17 residents tested positive, 4 residents died
  • White Oak Manor, Kings Mountain: 42 staff members and 82 residents tested positive, 15 residents died
  • Elmcroft of Shelby: one staff member and two residents tested positive
  • Shelby Manor: three staff members and one resident tested positive

Gaston County:

  • Alexandria Place, Gastonia: 3 staff members and 8 residents tested positive, one resident died
  • Belaire Healthcare Center: five staff members and 8 residents tested positive
  • Brian Center, Cox Road, Gastonia: 25 staff members and 86 residents tested postive, one staff member and 9 residents died
  • Peak Resources, Cherryville: five staff members and 12 residents tested positive, three residents died
  • Carolina Care, Cherryville: seven staff members and two residents tested positive
  • Morningside of Gastonia: two staff members tested positive

Lincoln County:

  • Lincolnton Rehabilitation Center: seven staff members and three residents tested positive
  • The Addison of Lincolnton: seven staff members and 19 residents tested positive, one staff member and 6 residents died

NOTE: most of these cases had been reported before; this is just the latest (9/1/20) update from NCDHHS


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