news 4 days ago

New COVID-19 outbreak at Matthews senior facility. NC reports 177 new Meck cases

The Charlotte Observer — Joe Marusak The Charlotte Observer

Aug. 01-- Aug. 1--State health officials on Saturday afternoon reported 177 more cases of COVID-19 detected in Mecklenburg County.

The percent of positive coronavirus tests has been very slowly and modestly declining for several weeks in the Charlotte area, the Observer has previously reported. Hospitalizations, meanwhile, have increased locally, with an average of 198 people per day in Mecklenburg hospitals needing COVID-19 care.

A total of 202 people have died, according to county health officials. That includes 52 deaths in July, 57 in June and 48 in May.

Mecklenburg has seen a total of 20,679 coronavirus cases since mid-March, according to state health data.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Saturday reported 1,730 new cases statewide, for a total of 123,878. DHHS data showed there were 40 additional COVID-19 deaths in North Carolina, for a total of 1,964.

Meanwhile, Mecklenburg health officials on Friday disclosed an additional outbreak in a congregate living facility, which includes jails, nursing homes, day care centers and other places where residents and staff often have close contact.

The addition of a COVID-19 outbreak at Plantation Estates, a retirement community in Matthews, brings the total number of active outbreaks in Mecklenburg to 36. That figure includes two child care centers previously reported.

According to state public health records late Friday, two staff members and one resident at WillowBrooke Court Skilled Care Center at Plantation Estates have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

In partnership with Mako Medical, Mecklenburg County Public Health will offer free drive-through and walk-up COVID-19 testing again from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the Valerie C. Woodard Center on Freedom Drive.

Tests are for anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms; had close contact with someone with COVID-19; attended a mass gathering or protest; or is at high risk because of age, health issues or work conditions.

Mecklenburg COVID-19 update

As of July 29 -- the last date demographic data was publicly available -- county coronavirus data show:

-- During the past week, health officials say an average of 197 individuals with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infections were hospitalized at acute care facilities in Mecklenburg County. However, a Charlotte Observer analysis of data from the county's "daily hospital census" shows the average is 198 people.

--An average of 9.6% of individuals who were tested were positive for COVID-19 during the past week. Mecklenburg County Public Health says this represents a slight decrease over the last 14 days. These data only include tests conducted by Atrium Health, Novant Health, CVS Health and Walgreens Pharmacy. Those providers administer the majority of tests locally.

-- Most people -- about 60% of nearly 20,000 cases -- were adults under the age of 40. People older than 60 account for less than 12% of all cases reported but about 85% of all deaths.

-- After symptoms of coronavirus subside, a person diagnosed may be "released" from isolation under CDC guidelines. In Mecklenburg, three out of four people who tested positive have met the criteria to end isolation, according to local health officials.

-- About 1 in 20 people diagnosed were hospitalized due to their illness. People age 60 or older were more likely to need hospital care compared to younger people with coronavirus.

About half of those people who have died from COVID-19 locally were connected to "active outbreaks" in long-term care facilities or nursing homes.

Still, three of the 201 deaths recorded as of July 29 were among people who had no known underlying conditions.

Twenty-seven of the people who died were between the ages of 40 to 59, and three people were under the age of 40.

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