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home : news : news December 4, 2020

9/19/2020 10:57:00 AM
Keep Wearing Your Masks--They're Working!
photo courtesy of UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC
photo courtesy of UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer


Lincoln County's number of active COVID-19 cases shrank slightly to 98 on Friday, compared to 138 Tuesday and 132 a week ago. The Health Dept. is no longer reporting on the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic, but based on info from NCDHHS, a little over 1,450 Lincoln County residents have been confirmed to have the disease since testing began. The Health Dept. reports 1,310 have recovered, 14 died, and 16 are awaiting test results.

Gaston County's number of active cases grew again--up to 1,336 Friday, up from 1,218 Tuesday. One more Gaston County resident died, bringing the death toll from the disease to 76. Gaston reports 3,370 recoveries and 39 people hospitalized related to the virus. One bit of good news: the percent of positive test results for the week of Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 8.1%, is the lowest since June.

Catawba County also had another person die, bringing that county's total to 52. They reported 48 new confirmed cases on Friday, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 2,961. 14 Catawba County residents were hospitalized with the virus. Since testing began, Catawba County has had a positive test rate of just under 11.4%. Catawba County reported 2,643 recoveries from the virus as of Wednesday.

Cleveland County reported a total of 1,970 cases of COVID-19 as of Friday. Of those, 162 are currently active and 1,752 have recovered. There are currently six COVID-19 cases hospitalized and Cleveland County has had a total of 56 COVID-related deaths.

Data released Friday by the South Carolina Dept. of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC) shows that communities in that state that have enacted and kept mask requirements continue to see slower rates of coronavirus spread than communities without such rules.

While unlike North Carolina, South Carolina has no statewide mask mandate, but nearly 42 percent of the state's residents, about 2.1 million people, live in communities that have local mask requirements; and unlike North Carolina, where there are no penalties for non-compliance, in some of those locations, you can be fined for not wearing a mask.

According to DHEC, “communities with mask requirement ordinances in place continue to see a slower rate of disease spread compared to communities without mask requirements.”

The data, DHEC said, confirms that “jurisdictions with a mask ordinance remain effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 when compared to those jurisdictions without an ordinance in place.

"This reinforces what was already known: the proper wearing of masks helps stop the spread of the virus.”

Friday’s report from South Carolina included 766 new confirmed cases of the disease, 36 probable new cases, and 21 new confirmed deaths. That brings the total number of confirmed cases to 133,310, probable cases to 3,008, confirmed deaths to 3,010, with an additional 167 probable deaths.

Friday's report included 63 more deaths in Georgia, bringing that state's death toll to 6,537; but there was some good news. The rate of deaths and of new cases may be slowing. Over the last 14 days (9/5-9/18), the average daily increase in newly reported deaths was 43.29 deaths each day, compared to 66.64 during the previous 14-day period (8/22-9/4).

With 1,834 new cases confirmed Friday, Georgia's total number of confirmed cases is now 302,737; but over the last 14 days, the average daily increase in newly confirmed cases was 1,670.21 each day. Over the previous 14-day period, the average daily increase in newly confirmed cases was 2,123.

The CDC's COVID Data Tracker report provides the following update as of Friday September 18th:

NORTH CAROLINA
population 10.5 million
total cases 191,019
cases in last 7 days 8,822
cases per 100,000 population 1,826
total COVID-19 related deaths 3,207
deaths per 100,000 population 30

SOUTH CAROLINA
population 5.2 million
total cases 135,446
cases in last 7 days 8,854
cases per 100,000 population 2,664
total COVID-19 related deaths 3010
deaths per 100,000 popualation 62

GEORGIA
population 10.6 million
total cases 300,903
cases in last 7 days 11,780
total COVID-19 related deaths 6,537
deaths per 100,000 population 61

If North Carolina had experienced the same rates of new cases of the disease as South Carolina and Georgia, we would have now had about 300,000 cases. If we had experienced the same death rate, we would have had over twice as many deaths.

Keep wearing your masks! They work!!!



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