Over the past two weeks, 28 Twin Counties residents have died of COVID-19 and 472 residents have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Edgecombe County has nearly doubled the number of COVID-related deaths in the past two weeks. On Sept. 3, the Edgecombe County Health Department reported 24 deaths. By Wednesday, that number had risen to 43.
The Edgecombe County Health Department has declined to comment on the recent surge in the number of deaths or offer any explanation as to why those numbers are escalating in recent days. The department also refuses to release any demographic data concerning cases or deaths, even though the number of cumulative confirmed cases in that county has reached 1,206.
More than 180 of those cases have been added in the past two weeks.
Though the Edgecombe County Health Department refuses to report demographic information about cases, the state Department of Health and Human Services does. According to its website, 37 Edgecombe County deaths have been reported at the state level. The other six deaths have not yet made it into the state system.
Based on those 37 deaths, only one death has been among the Hispanic population. The rest are among non-Hispanics. The state website does not report racial breakdowns for Edgecombe County, though it does report that data for almost every other county in the state.
In Edgecombe County, 54 percent of the deaths have occurred among men while 46 percent were among women.
Age plays a big factor in the deaths. So far, 43 percent of the deaths have occurred in people 75 years and older and 32 percent of the deaths have been reported in the 65-74 age group. Another 16 percent of Edgecombe County COVID-19 deaths have occurred in the 50-64 age group and 8 percent have been reported in people in the 25-49 age category. No deaths have been reported in people under the age of 24.
Nash County reported its 37th COVID-related death on Tuesday. This death was reported in a person younger than most who have died from the coronavirus in Nash County.
According to information provided by the Nash County Health Department, a woman in her early 50s died Tuesday from complications associated with the virus. She also had some underlying health conditions, a statement from the health department said.
Only 18 percent of Nash County COVID-related deaths have been reported in the 50-64 age group, according to data from the state DHHS.
In the past two weeks, nine Nash County residents have died of COVID-related issues and 289 people have tested positive.
According to information released Wednesday by the Nash County Health Department, Nash County has a cumulative confirmed total of 2,001 COVID cases. Of that number, 1,239 people are considered recovered, 710 are isolated at home and 15 are hospitalized.
At a Wednesday meeting of the Nash County COVID-19 Response Team, Nash County Health Director Bill Hill Jr. noted that the county has crossed the 2,000 case mark.
“We actually have probably had at least twice that many cases in Nash County,” Hill said. “If we are able to do widespread antibody testing later, it will be interesting to see how many people had COVID-19, but were never identified or tested.”
While Hill sees hope in the stabilization of some COVID metrics in Nash County, he reminds residents that it is important to take precautions, especially with the high number of people who have tested positive.
“Public health preventative measures are and will continue to play a vital role in reducing the transmission and spread of COVID-19,” Hill said in a statement. “Nash County Health Department continues to ask county citizens to practice preventative and safety measures that will help prevent the spread of the virus. If you leave home, know your W’s: Wear a cloth face covering if you will be with other people, wait six feet apart (and) avoid close contact, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
“These actions can protect our families and neighbors as the state takes a cautious step forward to ease restrictions while the virus is still circulating,” Hill said.