Mecklenburg County reports 72K+ coronavirus cases, 652 virus-related deaths

Mecklenburg County reports 72K+ coronavirus cases, 652 virus-related deaths
Mecklenburg County officials are releasing more information about the coronavirus pandemic. (Source: WBTV)

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - At least 652 Mecklenburg County residents have died and more than 72,780 have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

During the past week, an average of 15.5 percent of individuals who were tested in Mecklenburg County were positive for COVID-19.

Also, during the past week, an average of 521 individuals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infections were hospitalized at acute care facilities in Mecklenburg County

Health leaders are urging residents to avoid travel if possible, avoid large gatherings, and shop online rather than rushing out for the holidays and shopping. “Keep the groups very small,” health leaders said.

Tuesday, COVID-19 vaccination registration opened for those 75 years and older in Mecklenburg County.

We are seeing increase in activity in our community, Gibbie Harris said, which will lead to more cases.

Harris called a testing surge ahead of the holidays “incredible concerning” because it could mean risky behavior or people traveling and gathering.

HAPPENING NOW: Mecklenburg County health leaders are providing an update on COVID-19 as residents prepare to celebrate the Christmas holiday » https://bit.ly/3pbYxqj

Posted by WBTV News on Monday, December 21, 2020

Health leaders encourage residents to take advantage of technology to talk with family members over the holidays. ”The safest place is at home,” county leaders said.

To get detailed maps and graphics showing information concerning Mecklenburg County coronavirus cases, click here.

North Carolina moved into a modified “Safer at Home” order at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11. These restrictions were to last until 5 p.m. on Jan. 8, but Gov. Roy Cooper extended the order until at least Jan. 22.

“This modified stay at home order aims to limit gatherings and get people home where they are safer, especially during the holidays,” Gov. Roy Cooper said. “It’s also a reminder that we must be vigilant the rest of the days -- wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance from people we don’t live with and washing our hands a lot.”

Cooper said the order will require people to stay at home between the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Most businesses will be required to close by 10 p.m. Cooper said onsite alcohol consumption sales must end at 9 p.m. Click here for more details on the order.

North Carolina moved into Phase 3 of reopening Friday, Oct. 2 at 5 p.m. Gov. Roy Cooper has announced twice since then that the state would remain paused in Phase 3.

Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris says to watch out for contact tracing scams.

Harris said the county will call or text residents from a 980 or 704 number. They will ask you to confirm basic personal info, they will never ask for financial information or social security number.

Another scam reported involves a text that prompts the person to click a link and provide personal information.

The health director says testing guidance has not changed in the county.

They still have community spread so anyone who has been potentially exposed is recommended to be tested. Test results coming back within at least 48 to 72 hours.

Harris says school immunization guidelines have not changed, and that the health department is working with schools to make sure everyone is up to date by the end of October. Flu shots were also recommended before November.

  • About 3 in 4 reported cases were adults ages 20 to 59 years old.
  • About 1 in 20 reported cases were hospitalized due to their COVID-19 infection. While everyone is at risk for severe COVID-19 complications, reported cases who were older adults (≥ 60 years) were more likely to be hospitalized compared to younger individuals.
  • About 8 out of 10 have met CDC criteria to be released from isolation.
  • During the past week, an average of 473 laboratory confirmed infections were reported compared to the 14-day average of 681confirmed infections. This represents an increase over the last 14 days. These data are based on Mecklenburg resident cases reported to MCPH.
  • During the past week, an average of 473 individuals with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infections were hospitalized at acute care facilities in Mecklenburg County. This represents an increase over the last 14 days. These data are based on daily census counts from acute care facilities in Mecklenburg County reporting to MCPH.
  • During the past week, an average of 15.6 percent of individuals who were tested in Mecklenburg County were positive for COVID-19. This represents a fairly stable trend over the last 14 days. These data only include ELRs for molecular (PCR) tests submitted to NC DHHS for laboratories electronically submitting negative and positive COVID-19 results.
  • 583 deaths due to COVID-19 occurred among reported cases.
    • Almost all deaths were among older adults (≥ 60 years), 7 deaths occurred in adults ages 20 to 39 and 72 deaths were adults ages 40 to 59.
    • All deaths, except 13, occurred among adults with underlying chronic illnesses.
  • Based on publicly available mobility tracking data, social distancing represents a fairly stable trend in Mecklenburg County over the last 14 days.

People must wear face coverings when in public places, indoors or outdoors, where physical distancing of 6 feet from other people who aren’t in the same household isn’t possible.

The full executive order can be found here.

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