Although Columbus County continues to encounter COVID-19 — including one death and 26 new cases between Thursday and Monday — health officials are optimistic because the county is no longer experiencing the large spikes it did earlier in the pandemic.
“If people will take the necessary precautions, we can remain stable for a while,” Columbus County Health Department spokesman Daniel Buck said Monday.
Buck said that “a very high percentage” of the nursing home and assisted living residents who accounted for many of the county’s early COVID-19 cases have recovered. Troubling now, though, is an increase in younger people between the ages of 18 and 24, Buck said. As of June 23, nearly a quarter of the county’s cases fell within that age range compared to 17 percent on May 11.
The health department has stopped describing the sources of infections for new cases in its twice weekly updates, but Buck said much of the transmission is between family members.
Buck urges county residents to keep their distance from other people, wash hands and wear masks to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We’ve got to continue doing that if we want our numbers to remain stable,” he said. “At the end of the day, we all have to look out for each other.”
Buck said about eight percent of Columbus County’s population has been tested for COVID, “And we’re pretty proud of that number.”
The Columbus County Health Department reported the county’s 38th COVID-19 associated death on Monday. The person died Monday in a hospital. As with previous deaths, no additional information was released.
The health department reported that four new COVID-19 cases were confirmed Monday, three on Sunday, nine on Saturday, eight on Friday and two on Thursday in addition to others included in a previous report.
The county has a total of 517 confirmed cases, which includes the 38 deaths and 304 recoveries.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services releases the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths by zip code, but the numbers don’t always match those released by the county health department because of timing differences.
Data from DHHS on Monday:
28423: (Bolton) 16 cases (up one from Thursday), 0 deaths
28430: (Cerro Gordo) 18 cases, 0 deaths
28431: (Chadbourn) 76 cases, 5 deaths
28432: (Clarendon) 15 cases (up one from Thursday), 0 deaths
28436: (Delco) 11 cases (up three from Thursday), 0 deaths
28438: (Evergreen) 11cases, 0 deaths
28439: (Fair Bluff) 23 cases, 4 deaths
28442: (Hallsboro) 19 cases (up three from Thursday), 1 death
28450: (Lake Waccamaw) 29 cases (up two from Thursday), 3 deaths
28455: (Nakina) 8 cases (up one from Thursday), 2 deaths
28456: (Riegelwood) 27 cases (up four cases from Thursday), 0 deaths
28463: (Tabor City) 116 cases (up 5 from Thursday), 10 deaths
28472: (Whiteville) 147 cases (up 3 from Thursday), 10 deaths (up one from Whiteville)