Thursday, 10 September 2020 15:35

JARRELL: Nearly 50 COVID-19 cases in two days 'coming from all different directions'

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JARRELL: Nearly 50 COVID-19 cases in two days 'coming from all different directions' Pixabay

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Health Department on Thursday reported the highest one-day total of new COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

According to the daily update, 31 residents tested positive, taking the county’s overall total past 800.

Of the 143 active cases, 134 are under home isolation and nine are currently hospitalized.

The Health Department previously reported 18 new cases on Wednesday and 28 new cases on Tuesday, for a total of 77 so far this week. The report on Tuesday included new cases from Sunday and Monday.

Last week, the county reported 58 new cases and the 12th COVID-related death.

“I don’t have an answer,” Health and Human Services Director Dr. Tommy Jarrell told the RO on Thursday in response to the recent spike.

He said there are currently no outbreaks at any one location and that the latest cases were “coming from all different directions.”

According to Jarrell, there are some cases of family contact and some have been contracting it from co-workers all along — however, he said there are currently no outbreaks at any one location and that the latest cases were “coming from all different directions.”

“Some people are not taking it seriously enough,” Jarrell said, adding that some who test positive or are supposed to be under quarantine aren’t staying home, both in Richmond County and across the state and nation.

He encourages residents to practice social distancing, wear facial coverings in public and to stay home if they’re positive or under quarantine.

“That would help a lot, but there are so many people not doing that,” Jarrell said.

The health director added that it is too early for the Labor Day weekend to have an impact on the numbers. It takes seven to 14 days for symptoms to start showing.

So the concern is: Will Labor Day have an impact?

Jarrell hopes not.

He again stressed that it’s important for those who have tested positive or are under quarantine to stay isolated so they don’t spread the coronavirus.

“If everyone did that, we could beat this quickly,” he said.

Some good news: Over the past two days, the number of recoveries has risen from 593 to 661; and 8,121 residents have been negative for the coronavirus since testing began in March.

Also on Thursday, Richmond County Schools reported that there were two virtual students — one at Fairview Heights and one at Hamlet Middle — who have tested positive for COVID-19, as has one staff member at Fairview Heights.

On Wednesday, RCS reported that one staff member each at Ellerbe Middle and L.J. Bell and one student at Richmond Senior High School had tested positive

Per diem cases across the state had dropped to 716 on Sept. 8, but have risen to 1,222 over the past two days, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. The most reported on one day was 2,481 on July 18.

The number of hospitalizations has been slowly on the rise over the past week, with 928 reported on Thursday.


The number of local cases per age group are as follows:

  • 0-18 - 112
  • 19-30 - 124
  • 31-40 - 115
  • 41-50 - 150
  • 50-64 - 175
  • 65-older - 140

The number of cases per ZIP code are as follows:

  • Rockingham - 469 (77 active)
  • Hamlet - 224 (48 active)
  • Ellerbe - 81 (13 active)
  • Hoffman - 29 (4 active)
  • Mount Gilead - 10 (0 active)
  • Marston - 3 (1 active)

(*Note: The Richmond County Health Department now lists the number of active cases per ZIP Code instead of the number of recoveries.)

DHHS reports that more than 40 of the state’s 100 counties that have now experienced more than 1,000 total cases: Alamance, Brunswick, Burke, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Craven, Franklin, Chatham, Cleveland, Columbus, Cumberland, Davidson, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Gaston, Granville, Guilford, Harnett, Henderson, Iredell, Johnston, Lee, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Onlsow, Orange, Pitt, Randolph, Rowan, Robeson, Rockingham, Rutherford, Sampson, Stanly, Surry, Union, Wake, Wayne, Wilkes and Wilson.

In addition to Richmond, Halifax, Hoke, Lenoir, McDowell, Montgomery, Pender and Vance counties have had more than 800 cases.

Madison County has the state’s fewest number of cases with 81. The only other counties with 100 or fewer cases are all in the mountains: Graham (84), Mitchell (94) and Clay (100). In the east, Gates, Camden and Tyrell counties have had 102, 103 and 108 cases, respectively.

The total numbers (including recoveries) for surrounding counties are as follows:

  • Mecklenburg -26,564 (the only other county to top 10,000 is Wake with 15,999)
  • Union - 4,267
  • Stanly - 1,645
  • Montgomery - 964
  • Anson - 492
  • Moore - 1,438 (149 active)
  • Hoke - 929
  • Scotland - 771
  • Robeson - 3,944

All numbers are from DHHS except Moore, which are from the local health department, as there has been a discrepancy with the state.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is reporting 1,082 cases in Chesterfield County and 814 in Marlboro County.