Coronavirus NC: spread slows in state as cases reach 5,100

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RALEIGH

Coronavirus cases in North Carolina rose by less than 100 on Wednesday, marking the first time since late March that the state total has not jumped three digits, while Governor Roy Cooper responded to what was necessary for the state to begin reopening.

Cooper said at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon that the state needs to make progress in three areas before its stay-at-home order can be relaxed: testing, plotting and trending.

“Our new standard is based on increased testing capabilities to isolate and track new cases of COVID-19,” said Cooper. “It means having the laboratory supplies and capacity to do more diagnostic tests, as well as reliable antibody tests that can tell us who had the virus.”

Cooper said public and private sector partners will coordinate their efforts to make sure the tests are widely available across the state.

To make progress in tracing, the state must increase the public health workforce to find and track cases. The state will use partnerships with universities and hospitals to increase the workforce, said Cooper.

The trends that need to go in the right direction before you can relax home support orders are the number of positive cases, the number of hospitalizations and the number of deaths.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services secretary Mandy Cohen said on Wednesday that if progress had been made, shortages of PPE – personal protective equipment – for health care workers was a ” limiting factor “to stay ahead of the test curve.

Nursing home deaths reported as doubling rate slows

NC DHHS reported 5,123 confirmed cases of COVID-19, up 99 from Tuesday’s total. Among these cases, 431 patients remain hospitalized, an increase of 13.

Three-digit growth has occurred every day since March 25, when NC cases jumped 97 cases. Since then, the daily increase has often exceeded 300, according to data compiled by The News & Observer from NC DHHS and county health departments.

North Carolina has now experienced 117 deaths from the pandemic, a total that increased by nine in one day.

Rowan County, northeast of Charlotte, reported four new deaths on Wednesday, and Durham County, which reported 25 new cases on Tuesday evening, also reported its second death. The County Durham resident was 65 and had underlying health conditions, according to the county press release.

The News & Observer maintains a separate count based on reports from state and county health departments. This total, now at 5,265 cases and 127 deaths, is generally higher as the DHHS updates its figures once a day.

DHHS also reported 39 outbreaks in nursing homes and residential care facilities, as it did on Tuesday. The epidemic continues to affect nursing homes across the state as Chatham County reported its first death in an elderly patient in poor health.

The deaths of three residents of nursing homes in Louisburg and two at a facility in Mount Olive were reported on Wednesday.

The Mount Olive Center epidemic includes 21 positive cases among residents and four more among staff, according to information provided to News & Observer by Genesis Physician Services, owner of Mount Olive Center.

According to the Franklin County Health Department, the three deaths at the Louisburg Nursing Center bring the total number of coronavirus deaths at the facility to five.

Cohen said Tuesday that while DHHS is working to curb the spread of the epidemic, DHHS is monitoring the “doubling rate” or the rate at which the total number of COVID-19 cases is increasing twice as much.

At this point, state health officials say the rate is slowing, in part thanks to statewide home support guidelines that have been in effect for more than a week. The number of coronaviruses reached 2,000 in North Carolina on April 2 and 4,000 on April 10 – a rate doubled by eight days.

“Our actions at this time are essential to slow the spread of this virus,” Cooper said in a tweet. “Being away from friends and family is difficult, but staying at home and following social distancing guidelines saves lives.”

Cases reported among workers at UNC Health, Raleigh PD

Schools in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City announced on Wednesday that a staff member involved in “logistical support” for the Student Meals initiative has tested positive for the coronavirus. The employee was not involved in the preparation or distribution of food.

Meanwhile, UNC Health reported on Wednesday that “a small number” of workers tested positive for the virus after being exposed.

UNC Health spokesperson Alan Wolf said in an email to The News & Observer that “currently we have 12 colleagues who tested positive at the UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, out of more than 13,000 employees” .

Wolf said the UNC has “had an aggressive containment strategy for months, following CDC directives to ensure they remain isolated, receive appropriate treatment and supervision, and are cleared before returning to work. We also aggressively test any staff member with a wide range of symptoms so that we can thoroughly investigate the contacts if they are positive. We have tested hundreds of workers. “

And the Raleigh police department confirmed on Wednesday that one of its employees had tested positive for the virus. Deputy Chief Michael Galloway, in a memo sent to the department on April 7, said the police officer works at the northern district station.

The memo indicates that the employee last worked from March 20 to 22. He said professional cleaning of the building was completed on April 2 after the ministry notified March 31.

Rescue groups for non-profit organizations

The Triangle Community Foundation, with the help of its funders, paid $ 3.09 million in grants in March to local non-profit organizations, primarily for COVID-19 relief.

The foundation said 631 grants have been awarded and the total of $ 3.09 million represents a 53% increase in funding compared to the same period last year. There has been a 157% increase in grants, the foundation said.

Centraide of the Grand Triangle’s Rapid Response Fund plans to distribute $ 277,400 this week to 26 local non-profit organizations providing essential resources including food, child care, rental assistance and more to residents during the COVID-19 crisis.

Devin Desjarlais, director of marketing and storytelling, said Tuesday that during the week-long application period for the first round of funding, Centraide du Grand Triangle received 67 applications with requests totaling more than 1, $ 86 million.

Desjarlais said a total of 125 requests have been received to date, with requests totaling approximately $ 4 million. The Rapid Response Fund, announced on March 16, has raised more than $ 900,000, said Desjarlais.

Editors Steve Wiseman and Chip Alexander contributed to this report.