• 72°

Stanly experiences uptick in COVID-19 deaths while cases hit near 840

Stanly County has at least 839 known coronavirus cases since the pandemic began in mid-March, including 201 cases which are still active, according to the county health department, which posted the updated information Monday afternoon on Facebook.

Since the health department previously posted its update on Friday, an additional six people have been added to the death total from the virus, bringing the current tally to 16. That number has doubled since last Monday, when only eight people at the time had died.

There are 15 people hospitalized while 622 people have recovered from the virus.

The percentage of tests that have come back positive is 10 percent, higher than the statewide total of 8 percent. An estimated 8,123 people have been tested.

A majority of the cases, 616, have been transmitted through human to human contact, while 182 have been transmitted through community spread.

There have been 10 outbreaks in the county in congregate living facilities (nursing homes, residential care facilities and correctional facilities), the largest of which has come from Albemarle Correctional, where 106 inmates and at least 29 staff members have been infected — and three inmates have died, including two last week. The second largest outbreak is at Woodhaven Court, where 41 residents and staff have been infected and two residents have died.

Stanly County Health and Human Services director David Jenkins told the Stanly News and Press that the recent deaths are associated with the county’s current outbreaks.

At least a quarter of all the cases in the county have been attributed to outbreaks in these congregate living facilities. An outbreak is defined by the state as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases. Stanly has experienced more outbreaks than all of its neighboring counties except Mecklenburg, which leads the state with 36, according to data from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Albemarle continues to lead the county with around 387 cases and six deaths, followed by New London with 150 cases, Norwood with roughly 81 cases, Oakboro with 53 cases and Locust with 48 cases, according to the DHHS data.

According to the Harvard University interactive COVID risk assessment map, which charts coronavirus risks by state and county according to the number of new cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days, Stanly ranks 9th in the state with 27.5 cases per day, a worse result than last Friday, when the state ranked 17th.

Stanly has less confirmed cases than all of its nearby counties, many of which are larger, except Anson (287), Montgomery (531) and Richmond (456).

As of Monday, at least 116,087 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 1,820 have died. More than 1.6 million tests have also been completed.

As of Monday, 391 patients in the Metrolina region (which is composed of 13 counties including Stanly) were hospitalized with COVID-19. Thirty-six had been admitted within the past 24 hours, and 80 suspected of having COVID-19 had been admitted in that time, with 94 percent of hospitals reporting. Hospitals in the region had 108 adult patients in ICUs.

In the Metrolina Region, there were 1,275 empty inpatient hospital beds, including 86 ICU beds, along with 584 available ventilators.

The demographic numbers continue to stay relatively constant in Stanly, with people ages 25 to 49 being the group most likely to contract the virus (43 percent of all cases) followed by those ages 50 to 64 (24 percent). With school about to start in a few weeks, children younger than 17 and those ages 18-24 have each accounted for 8 percent of all cases.

Males in Stanly account for 52 percent of the cases while Hispanics, which only make up about 4 percent of the county population, account for 17 percent of cases.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

email author More by Chris