The Columbus County Health Department on Thursday reported one new COVID-19 death and 41 new cases. The death happened Thursday in a hospital, but no other information was released.
The county saw five additional cases on Monday, eight on Tuesday, 26 on Wednesday and two on Thursday, according to the health department. The total is now 1,644 with 60 deaths and 13 hospitalizations.
Southeastern North Carolina has shown a triple-fold increase of hospitalizations in the last two weeks, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Service. While not quite as drastic as the region overall, Columbus County has risen in hospitalization numbers in the last two weeks.
“While we, at [Columbus Regional Healthcare System], have seen an increasing trend in COVID inpatient admissions, we are not at capacity for inpatient hospital beds, ventilators or [Critical Care Unit] beds,” said Stephanie Miller, physician and community services coordinator at the Columbus Regional Healthcare System.
In addition, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety reported eight active COVID-19 cases with 11 recoveries at the Columbus Correctional Institution and one active case with 40 recoveries at Tabor Correctional Institution. Detainees who had COVID-19 at Columbus County Detention Center are no longer on quarantine, and the facility is now considered free of COVID-19, according to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday. NCDHHS reported the outbreak on Oct. 2 with four detainees and one staffer, which grew by two more staffers on Oct. 6.
NCDHHS reported no new outbreaks in nursing homes in the county.
There have been approximately 1,314 recoveries from COVID-19 in the county, according to the health department. Health facilities across the county have conducted approximately 18,389 swab tests and 11,644 rapid tests.
Since last report, spokesperson Kelly Jones said that Columbus County Schools had no new cases of COVID-19. Neither did Whiteville City Schools, Superintendent Marc Whichard reported Thursday morning.
Columbus Charter School began the second quarter of the year today (Thursday) after a week of fall break and three teacher workdays. Headmaster Steve Smith said that the only impact of the coronavirus at presstime was that children in one family were staying at the home of relatives while a parent was infected. The students are enrolled in the charter school’s all-remote option.
Things were “all clear” at Thomas Academy, Principal George Ward said, with no infections.
Jennifer Noble, principal of Columbus Christian Academy, said Thursday morning that the school still had no infections.
— Includes reporting by Diana Matthews and Thomas Sherrill