Fri Oct 22, 2021

Columbus’ COVID-19 death count rises to 189; eight this month [free read]


Columbus County added nine COVID-19 related deaths since the last update before the Labor Day weekend, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Thursday afternoon. That brings the total to 189.

One death occurred on Aug. 31, two on Sept. 2, three on Sept. 4, two on Sept. 5 and one on Sept. 6, according to NCDHHS. 

In addition, the county now has a total of 9,108 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to NCDHHS.

NCDHHS reported 82 cases on Aug. 31, 59 on Sept. 1, 64 on Sept. 2, 26 on Sept. 3, zero on Sept. 4, nine on Sept. 5, eight on Sept. 6 and 31 on Sept. 7. These numbers are subject to change. 

NCDHHS also updated its list of outbreaks on Tuesday afternoon. Three outbreaks saw increases in cases from last week: Premier Living by seven cases for a total of six positive staff members and nine positive residents, Tabor Commons by three cases for a total of five staff members, and Liberty Commons by one case for a total of nine staff and four residents. One staff member at Liberty Commons also died from COVID-19 complications.

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The outbreak at Shoreland remained stable with two staff members and one resident, according to NCDHHS. 

The N.C. Department of Public Safety reported zero active cases (same as last week) and 134 recoveries at Columbus Correctional Institution, along with six active cases (up from three last week) and 435 recoveries at Tabor Correctional Institution. 

Approximately 41% — or 22,672 residents — have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 36% are fully vaccinated, according to NCDHHS.

County schools have fewer cases as of Labor Day; Williams Township to resume in-person classes

Columbus County Schools had 19 new cases of COVID-19 from Sept. 2–6, according to a spreadsheet released Tuesday, Sept. 7.  Another 19 people were quarantined due to at-school contact with the infected patients during that period. 

NCDHHS recorded on Tuesday a cluster at South Columbus High School with five students testing positive.

The five-day total was a significant decrease from previous reports. The same spreadsheet shows 95 positives and 53 quarantines the first four days of the semester.

Williams Township School has been in remote instruction mode since Friday, Sept. 3. CCS administrators announced after presstime that WTS will return to in-person instruction Monday, Sept. 13.

As of Thursday morning, Whiteville City Schools had 24 new COVID-19 cases and 65 new quarantines, according to Superintendent Marc Whichard. These include two staff cases at Whiteville Primary School; 11 student quarantines at Edgewood Elementary; one staff case, 13 student cases and 36 student quarantines at Central Middle School; five student cases, 15 student quarantines and two staff quarantines at Whiteville High School; and three student cases and one student quarantine at North Whiteville Academy.

Classical Charter School updated its website Tuesday, Sept. 7, to show eight active cases from the Whiteville campus. These were cases diagnosed within 10 calendar days. The chart did not specify how many were new cases nor whether any students or staff were quarantined due to contact at school. Cases could overlap with those reported Aug. 30.  

Thomas Academy began its fall semester Tuesday. Principal George Ward III said Thursday morning that there had been no cases or quarantines among students or staff of the charter school.  

Columbus Christian Academy has had 24 high school students in remote instruction this week, due to one positive case, Principal Jennifer Noble said Thursday morning. Remote mode will continue until Monday, Sept. 13, she said. — Includes reporting from Ivey Schofield and Diana Matthews


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