Death toll now up to 80 with 2 new deaths

The renewed post-Thanksgiving spike in new COVID-19 cases shows no sign of abating as Craven County approaches the two-week Christmas break.

With 69 new cases in a 24-hour period (the fifth highest one-day increase since the pandemic started) and two new deaths of Craven County residents, the last 24 hours offered little to be optimistic about.

New Bern Post Graphic / Craven County Health Department data

Craven County has 3,986 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020.

Of those, 638 are active cases, 14 are hospitalized, and 80 have died.

New Bern Post Graphic / Data from Craven County Health Dept. and CarolinaEast MC

An interesting development from census data at CarolinaEast: the number of Craven County residents hospitalized has declined, while the over-all number of COVID-19 patients has increased. That hints at a flurry of new patients from neighboring counties. The number of patients on ventilators at CarolinaEast has remained steady at three patients.

CarolinaEast Medical Center received around 950 Covid-19 vaccine doses on Tuesday, according to N.C. Rep.-elect Steve Tyson (R-New Bern), a former county commissioner and former member of the hospital board of directors who still maintains contacts there.

“More will be coming in as the drug companies start to ramp up their production. CarolinaEast has freezers that can keep the vaccine a comfortable -80 degrees F. The vaccine will be given out to health care providers and seniors before going out to the general public,” Tyson said.

CarolinaEast Medical Center was chosen as a recipient of the initial vaccine doses because of its freezer storage capacity and its strategic location. It is the easternmost hospital to get the vaccine, the only one in northeastern part of the state, and one of only two that are east of I-95.

Out of the 3,986 confirmed positive cases, 3,268 have recovered or are presumed recovered based on guidelines set by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Viral transmission

Out-of-state travelCommunity transmissionDirect contactUnder investigationUnknown
381,0142,626648714
UnchangedUp 101Up 115Down 115Unchanged
Changes Dec. 30-31, 2020

Contact tracers found that community transmission increased by just 1 case over the past 24 hours, while direct contact cases increased by 32 cases. That may indicate a transition of the Thanksgiving spike from first wave to second wave.

You may notice a three-day dip in new cases over the weekend. Sometimes a dip can be a dividing line between waves, but because that dip occurred over the weekend, it could just have been because it was the weekend.

Regardless, with final exams at Craven County Schools this week culminating in the start of the two-week Christmas Break on Friday afternoon, there will plenty of close contact in social settings, shopping, and dining out compared to Thanksgiving’s one week.

Two additional Craven County residents have died from complications related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

One died on Dec. 11, 2020. The individual was tested for COVID-19 on Dec. 6, 2020 and resulted positive on Dec. 7, 2020.

The other died on Dec. 15, 2020. The individual was tested for COVID-19 on Dec. 3, 2020 and resulted positive on Dec. 7, 2020.

Both individuals had underlying health conditions. To protect the privacy of each individual’s family, no further information about the individuals will be released by county officials.  

Craven County snapshot

Confirmed ActiveRecovered DeathsHospitalized 
3,9866383,2688014
Source: Craven County Health Department

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