Lincoln County's number of active coronavirus cases declined significantly since Tuesday according to the report from the Health Dept. on Friday. The county has 69 active cases after 114 more people were reported to have recovered from the disease--bringing the total number of recoveries from 1,355 to 1,469. The county has had 15 deaths from the disease. Nine of those have been in congregate living facilities.
The Friday report from NCDHHS showed no new outbreaks at congregate living facilities in Lincoln County.
Gaston County has experienced three more deaths and over a hundred more active cases of COVID-19 this week. The county's death toll from the disease is now 83 and as of Friday afternoon (Sept. 25th) Gaston County had 1,442 active cases. 37 county residents are currently hospitalized with the virus.
Catawba County has averaged over 20 new cases each day this week including 30 on Thursday and 26 Friday. The county has had 53 people die relative to the virus and 15 county residents are currently hospitalized.
Cleveland County has experienced two more virus-related deaths this week, bringing the total there to 60. The number of active cases in Cleveland County has increased to over 200--222 as of Friday.
North Carolina had a big increase in new cases this week--on Friday, 1,579 new cases were reported, after 1,688 on Thursday,the largest number any day this week. Every day this week but one had over a thousand new cases. 53 additional deaths Friday bring that figure for the state to 3,409. The positive test rate remained at just over five percent (5.2%). The positive test rate had dropped to less than five percent early last week and on Tuesday of this week, but overall remains just above five percent for the past 14 days.
That's still better than South Carolina, where the positive test rate was 11.1% on Thursday and has remained consistently agove 10%, often closer to 15%. South Carolina reported 20 new deaths Friday bringing their total to 3,114 and 647 new cases.
The CDC says North Carolina's death rate from the virus is now 32 per 100,000 population. That's half the death rate (64 per 100,000) in South Carolina, Georgia & Florida and also less than in any other Southern state except Kentucky. The CDC says over the last seven days, North Carolina has had 8,613 new confirmed cases of COVID-19; South Carolina, with half the population of North Carolina, has had 7,261. Tennessee had 9,404; Georgia, 10.143; and Florida, 18,340. The worst states for new cases in the last seven days relative to their total population are Texas, California, Florida, Wisconsin & Illinois.
While some are talking about herd immunity, Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) said this week that the majority of Americans remain susceptible to the virus.
Speaking to the Senate Health Committee, Redfield said results on the first round of a study by the agency show more than 90% of the population is susceptible. At least 22 US states saw an increase in cases this week.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading epidemiologist, cautioned that the pandemic isn't over. Some have said that a second wave is likely this Autumn and Winter similar to what happened with the flu pandemic of 1918-19. "Rather than say, 'a second wave,' why don't we say, 'Are we prepared for the challenge of the Fall and Winter?'" Fauci said.
Fauci also warned that a vaccine against the disease, if approved, would still not end the pandemic right away.
Both Fauci and Redfield agreed that the best way to reduce the number of new infections and eventually end the pandemic is to continue the measures commonly called the 3Ws.