Stanly has ‘significant community spread’ as it passes 2,800 COVID cases
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen in North Carolina, with a record 4,296 new cases reported Thursday, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services this week rolled out a new alert system that categorizes North Carolina’s 100 counties into three levels of community spread on a color-coded map.
The new alert system assigns a color to counties based on the rate of cases, the percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive and a score given based on how local hospitals are faring with COVID-19 patients and staffing shortages. Counties in yellow are seeing significant community spread, while those in orange are seeing substantial spread and those in red have critical spread.
Stanly County was yellow, though three counties bordering it — Cabarrus, Rowan, and Montgomery — were all orange. The majority of counties in the state were either yellow or orange, with just 10 listed as red. The only county in the Charlotte Metrolina Region that was red was Gaston. DHHS will update its report on the second week of each month.
“By pinpointing counties with high virus transmission and asking people in those counties to work with us and do more right now to slow viral spread, we can succeed,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a press conference Tuesday after unveiling the alert system. “It can help bring down case rates, keep their communities safer, save lives and keep their hospital systems working.”
With an additional 19 cases reported on Thursday, the county has 2,807 cumulative cases, with 10 people hospitalized and 80 people having died as a result of the coronavirus, according to data from the county health department. There are 182 active cases and 2,545 people who had the virus have recovered. More than 19,100 tests have been administered.
Stanly’s positivity rate, which is the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive, increased this week and is now at 8.2 percent, slightly below the state’s average of 8.3 percent.
A majority of the cases, 2,096, have been transmitted through human to human contact, while 611 have been transmitted through community spread.
The health department reported five outbreaks in the county: The Albemarle Correctional Institution, which has had 398 cumulative cases, though there are no active cases, Stanly Manor, which has 75 cases and six deaths, Bethany Woods, Spring Arbor and Premier Services of the Carolinas.
Stanly County Schools reported that from Nov. 5-11 eight students and two staff members tested positive.
Albemarle continues to lead the county with more than 1,213 cases and 60 deaths, followed by New London with 619 cases and six deaths, Norwood with roughly 291 cases and five deaths, Locust with 202 cases and Oakboro with 174 cases and four deaths, according to DHHS data.
Statewide, there have been more than 4.8 million tests conducted in the state resulting in 328,846 cases as of Friday. A total of 1,571 people are hospitalized, while 4,979 people have died.
The demographics continue to stay relatively constant in Stanly, with people ages 25 to 49 being the group most likely to contract the virus (40 percent of all cases) followed by those ages 50 to 64 (24 percent). Children younger than 17 and those ages 18-24 account for 7 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
White people account for the majority of cases in Stanly at 67 percent followed by Black people with 15 percent of cases, according to data from the health department. Race listed as “unknown” accounts for 15 percent of cases while those with Hispanic ethnicity make up 8 percent of cases.
Of the total number of cases in the county, about 25 percent have come from people living in congregate living facilities.