Alexander County officials question designation of county as “Red” in coronavirus chart

Alexander County leaders dispute 'red zone' label

TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - Under North Carolina’s new COVID alert system, Alexander County has been given a “Red” designation.

That indicates serious issues and critical community spread.

Leeanne Whisnant, Director of Human Services for the county, doesn’t agree with the designation.

There are several factors that go into the state’s decision including hospitalizations in the county, the number of active cases and positivity rate. 

It turns out there is no hospital in Alexander County and more than half of the 124 active COVID-19 cases are in a local prison.

Whisnant says that has skewed the positivity rate and the total numbers.

“The prison, with 80 odd cases, is really making our numbers look worse,’ she said.

There was a time earlier in the summer when cases were spiking she says, and that even just three weeks ago, total number of cases was higher.

Now, she believes the numbers in the community outside the prison walls are stable or dropping.

Even so, she believes everyone needs to put more effort into following CDC guidelines.

“With the holidays coming, we want people to be safe,” she said.

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