Two Columbus County residents died Wednesday afternoon from COVID-19, increasing the county’s number of deaths resulting from the coronavirus to 37.
Columbus County Health Director Kim Smith provided the update during a videoconference meeting of the county’s public health board Wednesday night.
Smith said both people died Wednesday afternoon.; one was hospitalized and the other died at home.
The county’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased from 468 on Monday to 490 on Wednesday, Smith said. The total of 490 includes the 37 deaths and 302 recoveries.
Five of the county’s COVID cases are currently hospitalized.
Smith said that a majority of the county’s COVID-19 cases have been among people ages 65 and older, but cases are rising among people ages 18-44 in the county and the state.
Smith said the county’s COVID-19 cases have included 278 females and 201 males. The cases breakdown by race is as follows: seven American Indian, 1 Asian American, 203 African American, 35 Latino, 233 White.
Of the county’s COVID-19 deaths, 23 were women and 14 were men. Twenty-four were ages 65 or older.
Smith said her department plans to use state COVID funds to hire an employee to help with contact tracing, a process in which the health department contacts people who are confirmed to have the coronavirus and everyone with whom they came in close contact.
“I wish I could tell you that this would be over next week,” Smith said. “We’re going to have to hunker down and this is going to be a long haul.”