Nash and Edgecombe counties set new records for confirmed cases of COVID-19 this week with 525 new cases emerging across the Twin Counties.
Nash County reported a record 322 new cases this week, bringing the cumulative total of cases to 3,092. Of that number, 1,717 people are considered recovered and 29 are hospitalized, bringing that number down from a reported high of 37 earlier this week.
However, 1,287 people are isolated at home with active cases of COVID-19. That number represents about 1.35 percent of Nash County’s total population. That means roughly 1 out of every 74 Nash County residents currently has COVID-19.
The Nash County Health Department on Thursday reported 68 new cases. Nash County Health Director Bill Hill said Friday that 40 of those cases were from congregate living facilities in the county.
“About 27 of those cases came from Rocky Mount Rehabilitation Center, about 12 from Autumn Care in Nashville and another one from the Carrolton,” Hill said. “These facilities are doing the best they can. It is just almost like setting a wildfire when COVID enters these facilities.”
Another 69 cases were reported on Friday.
The numbers are so alarming that Nash County was invited to a telephone conference with state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen. Nash is one of the top 25 counties in the state in terms of COVID-19 numbers, which was the reason for the inclusion in the call.
It is not clear if Edgecombe County also was a part of that call.
“Secretary Cohen basically wanted to discuss strategies for encouraging people to follow the three W’s,” Hill said Friday. “She also reminded us that local governments can create stricter ordinances than the state has, if the situation demands it.”
Hill said he is not certain if Nash County will take any steps in that direction.
Nash County also reported two new deaths since Wednesday for a total of seven deaths in the past week.
A woman in her early 70s died Wednesday from complications associated with COVID-19. Another woman in her early 80s died Friday. She was a resident of a local congregate living facility at the time of her death, Hill said. Both had underlying health conditions.
The Edgecombe County Health Department has not reported any new deaths this week. However, a record 203 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the past eight days, based on when Edgecombe County health department officials report data.
On Friday morning, the Edgecombe County Health Department reported a total of 1,730 cumulative positive cases of COVID-19. Of that number, 1,462 people are considered recovered by health department officials and 59 have died.
As of Friday, 4,822 Twin Counties residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 118 have died.
The increase in cases in the Twin Counties reflects a state trend. On Friday, the state Department of Health and Human Resources reported 2,684 new cases of COVID-19 and more than 2,500 new cases were reported Thursday, setting new one-day peak numbers since the pandemic began.
Gov. Roy Cooper addressed the concern at a news conference Thursday held just days after he loosened restrictions in the state.
“Our numbers are higher than we want them to be right now. There’s not one geographical area or industry to blame. I know we’re all tired of this. It’s frustrating to feel confined and to do the things we need to do to slow the spread of the virus,” Cooper said Thursday. “But we can’t let weariness and frustration win out. We’ve brought our numbers down before, and we need to do it again.”
Cooper’s current executive order ends Oct. 23. The recent data may affect his decisions moving forward, state health officials hinted Thursday.