Category: State news

June 26th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

The North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA) issued the following statement from Andy Ellen, president and general counsel, regarding Executive Order 147 issued by Governor Roy Cooper and the face covering requirement included.

“The main concern for all retailers has and continues to be the health and safety of their employees and their customers. At 5:00 pm today, Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order requires customers to wear a face covering while in a retail establishment or restaurant.

Since the onset of the COVID-19, retailers have made wide-ranging changes in their operations with safety in mind. They have incorporated social distancing procedures and worked tirelessly to keep stores open, shelves stocked, and carts sanitized. Many have shortened hours to institute stringent cleaning processes. Additionally, there are many stores that were closed for weeks and are struggling to recover from the shutdown and they are anxiously awaiting customers to return to shop. These businesses need your help both economically and with compliance with the face covering requirement. These businesses simply cannot afford a civil penalty or a criminal penalty because of customers not abiding by Governor Cooper’s Order.

We ask you to be patient with retailers and their employees as you go out to shop in the coming days and weeks, as they continue to navigate these unprecedented challenges. Please wear a mask or face covering and be considerate if you are asked to do so when you are shopping. Also, we can’t all know the reason another customer isn’t wearing a mask, such as due to a health condition, so be kind to each other.”

Posted in Health, State news

June 24th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen today announced that North Carolina will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three more weeks. Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread.

Cooper and Cohen were joined by Dennis Taylor, President of the North Carolina Nurses Association and Eugene A. Woods, President and CEO of Atrium Health.

“North Carolina is relying on the data and the science to lift restrictions responsibly, and right now our increasing numbers show we need to hit the pause button while we work to stabilize our trends,” said Governor Cooper. “We need to all work together so we can protect our families and neighbors, restore our economy, and get people back to work and our children back to school.”

“I know North Carolinians are strong, resilient and care deeply about our communities. We pride ourselves on helping our neighbors. The best way we can do that now is by taking the simple action of wearing a face covering that covers your nose and mouth. If we each do our part, we can get back to the people and places we love,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, NCDHHS Secretary.

Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. Until now, face coverings had been strongly recommended. Under today’s executive order, people must wear face coverings when in public places where physical distancing is not possible.

In addition, certain businesses must have employees and customers wear face coverings, including retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and grooming; employees of child care centers and camps; state government agencies under the Governor’s Cabinet; workers and riders of transportation; and workers in construction/trades, manufacturing, agriculture, meat processing and healthcare and long-term care settings.

“Wearing a face covering is an easy thing to do that can make a huge impact for all of us. A major spike in cases would be catastrophic to the system, and without your cooperation, nurses and our fellow healthcare providers will have a harder time caring for sick patients for weeks and months to come,” said Dennis Taylor, a nurse, and President of the North Carolina Nurses Association.

“As the leader of the state’s largest health system, I am pro-health and also 100 percent pro-business. In fact, the two are inextricably connected and I’m very proud of the way business leaders and health experts are working together to keep our economy strong,” said Eugene A. Woods, President and CEO of Atrium Health. “Medical science says to reduce the spread of COVID-19 masking works, and my sincere hope is that all the people of North Carolina can join forces to make wearing a mask not something we feel we have to do – but something that we want to do to keep each other, our neighbors, our children and our loved ones healthy and safe”

Based on the metrics laid out in April by Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen, North Carolina is evaluating a combination of the data from the following categories that shows the indicators moving in the wrong direction, causing officials to implement today’s pause in Phase 2.

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is increasing.

Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases starting to level, but is still increasing.

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive remains elevated.

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations are increasing, though we have capacity in our healthcare system.

In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:

Laboratory Testing

  • North Carolina is averaging more than 17,000 tests a day for the past week and there are more than 500 sites listed on online plus additional pop-up sites.
  • North Carolina labs and labs around the country are seeing supply shortages for laboratory chemicals needed to process tests.

Tracing Capability

  • There are over 1,500 full-time and part-time staff supporting contact tracing efforts at the local health department level, including the 309 Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative contact tracers. These new hires reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, and 44% are bilingual.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Our personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable.

Businesses can download templates for signs on face coverings here. Downloadable social media graphics are also available for use.

Read Executive Order No. 147 that implements today’s announcement.

Read Frequently Asked Questions about today’s executive Order and mandatory face coverings.

Read NCDHHS guidance on face coverings.

View the slide presentation from today’s briefing.

By Ford Porter, NC Governor Roy Cooper’s Office

Posted in Craven County, Health, New Bern, State news, State politics

June 11th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Internationally – total confirmed cases 7,291,484. Deaths 413,058 Gives a death rate of 5.66%. That is 57 people out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus.

United States – total cases 1,961,428 Deaths 111,694 Gives a death rate of 5.7%. That is 57 of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus.

North Carolina – total cases 37,160 Death 1053. Gives a death rate of 2.83%. That is 28.3 out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus. 780 hospitalizations.

Surrounding counties.
Lenoir – total cases 261 death 8
Jones – total cases 25 death 3
Greene – total cases 106 death 2
Pitt – total cases 416 death 2
Onslow – total cases 136 death 2
Beaufort- total cases 43 death 0
Bertie – total cases 134 death 4
Craven – total cases 241 death 5
Carteret – total cases 42 death 3
Wayne – total cases 1367 death 20
Duplin – total cases 1072 death 20
Forsyth – total cases 1910 death 18
Nash – total cases 248 death 4
Wilson – total cases 456 death 13

Nc hospitalizations with COVID 19 continue to climb. This is concerning. Deaths and hospitalizations are the true numbers to follow. They do not go up because of increased testing. Please follow social distancing guidelines. Wear masks it prevents spread. Avoid people as much as possible. I am including only the hospitalization graphs for this one. Now it is just a matter of wait and watch.

To get some fake news stuff out of the way.

  1. Yes there is Preop COVID testing, no this will not increase your case numbers significantly, however the percent testing numbers will spuriously go down because we are testing people who have no reason to be tested.
  2. Masks do help significantly control spread. It will reduce your chance of getting an infection and will reduce your chance of spreading the infection.
  3. No, this is not like the flu, it is nothing like the flu and yes it is scary.
  4. Hydroxychloroquine does not work – all the evidence so far points away from it. If there is positive evidence that comes in the future at that time it can be prescribed.
  5. Yes, children do die with this illness but it is still very rare.

Ps: I still collect all the other data and update all the graphs in case anyone needs it.

Posted in Health, State news

June 8th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Internationally – total confirmed cases 6,920,214. Deaths 400,225 Gives a death rate of 5.78%. That is 58 people out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus.

United States – total cases 1,920,061 Deaths 109,802 Gives a death rate of 5.71%. That is 57 of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus.

North Carolina – total cases 34,625 Death 996. Gives a death rate of 2.87%. That is 38.7 out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus. 996 hospitalizations.

Surrounding counties.

Lenoir – total cases 215 death 7
Jones – total cases 26 death 3
Greene – total cases 95 death 2
Pitt – total cases 394 death 2
Onslow – total cases 134 death 2
Beaufort- total cases 41 death 0
Bertie – total cases 134 death 4
Craven – total cases 232 death 5
Carteret – total cases 39 death 3
Wayne – total cases 1306 death 20
Duplin – total cases 1006 death 19
Forsyth – total cases 1774 death 17
Nash – total cases 236 death 4
Wilson – total cases 443 death 12
Some concerns I have with these numbers. NC numbers are climbing. The percentage positives, the deaths and the daily hospitalizations are climbing. These cannot be due to increased testing. The total cases go up due to increased testing but hospitalizations cannot go up due to increased testing.
Why?
This is due relaxing social distancing and people not taking care. In the next two weeks the chances are it will go up further especially because of the protests.
Now for some education.
https://www.recoverytrial.net
The recovery trial
This is a multi center trial testing multiple strategies in hospitalized COVID patients.
Lopinavir-Ritonavir (commonly used to treat HIV)
Low-dose Dexamethasone (a type of steroid, which is used in a range of conditions typically to reduce inflammation).
Hydroxychloroquine
Azithromycin (a commonly used antibiotic)
Tocilizumab (an anti-inflammatory treatment given by injection)
Convalescent plasma (collected from donors who have recovered from COVID-19 and contains antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus).
The hydroxychloroquine part of the study has been closed.
A total of 1542 patients were randomised to hydroxychloroquine and compared with 3132 patients randomised to usual care alone. There was no significant difference in the primary endpoint of 28-day mortality (25.7% hydroxychloroquine vs. 23.5% usual care; hazard ratio 1.11 [95% confidence interval 0.98-1.26]; p=0.10). There was also no evidence of beneficial effects on hospital stay duration or other outcomes. In short 25.7% of the people randomly assigned to hydroxychloroquine died vs 23.5% in the sugar pill group.
This is truly the first randomized trial for hydroxychloroquine that has been reported. It has not been published in a peer reviewed journal yet. More details will come out at the time. The study did not show any benefit of hydroxychloroquine compared to sugar pills.
Two article have been retracted from the Lancet and nejm since the data collection and methods could not be independently verified.both studies were observational data. The above study is a randomized clinical trail and is the pinnacle of research studies. In general physicians should prescribe meds based on randomized trials.
Pradeep Arumugham is a Greenville, NC, cardiologist and faculty member at the East Carolina University School of Medicine. His Facebook post is distributed on New Bern Post with his permission.

Posted in Health, State news

May 31st, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Pradeep Arumugham 5/30/2020 COVID 19 UPDATE

Now that we are in Phase II – it is prudent to look at Georgia numbers again. If you remember a few weeks ago Georgia changed the way they reported cases.

NC reports cases in 2 ways, one as the positive cases when the report comes in and as positive cases according to date when it was performed.

Georgia switched from positive cases when reports come in to positive cases according to date it was performed. We can argue whether this was politics or not, but the sad fact is that it prevented people from seeing whether a spike was happening or not with the opening.

Let me explain again how this was done.

If you had a hundred test results come back positive today, the majority of them would have been performed in the last two weeks. What Georgia did was distribute the 100 test results to the last two weeks. Which means let’s say there were 5 quick test results resulted on the same day, then Georgia reported only 5 new cases that day which means when you draw the graph it will always look like it is plummeting. That gives people that false sense of security.

At the time they made this change, many here observed along with me that this “manipulation” will not last and the data will shine through but delayed by a few weeks. Now the data is shining through.

April 24, 2020, Georgia reopened. Cases continued to drop, which it should because people have just started relaxing social distancing and the virus has a 2-14 day incubation period. Two weeks later, May 8, new cases start climbing. You can clearly see on the graph.

What can we in NC learn and/or expect?

NC went to phase 1 May 8. If we follow Georgia, May 22 new cases should start going up, BUT NC reports cases according to when it is reported, so I suspect due to test result delay of 2-7 days, our numbers should go up this week.

In fact for the last two days, we have reported over a thousand cases each day. I suspect NC spike will not be as bad as Georgia because our opening is a lot slower.

What can we do about it?

Everyone wants the state to reopen. The only difference between the reopen NC and the stay home NC people is the speed at which we open.

This is my advice. If you want to open then you have to take extra precautions. Everyone should wear a mask, maintain social distancing as much as possible, wash as much as possible.

When I go out I wear a mask, you should too. Have I missed occasionally? Yes I have, but it is becoming rarer and rarer that I forget. This should become a habit.

COPD and asthma patients can still wear a mask. An n95 may be harder for them to use but not the regular mask. It is not cool not to wear a mask. Neither is it fear that makes one wear a mask. The person wearing a mask is trying to protect you. The person not wearing a mask is sending a message that they do not care.

I wear a mask and I have taken care of diagnosed COVID 19 patients. Unless you have taken care of them then you have no right to tell us we are afraid.

NC new cases are climbing. The percent positive tests as reported by NCDHHS is climbing. This means that the increased cases are not just due to increased testing. This could very well be due to increased case transmission.

NC new deaths are climbing slightly. This is concerning. You can’t cheat death.

NC hospitalizations are climbing. I suspect deaths will start climbing in 1-2 weeks.

Overall NC, since reopening, is not doing too well. A rise in case numbers is expected but the severity of the rise is what we should watch for. Very few people are wearing masks and many refuse to wear it. This will increase transmission rates.

I suspect what benefit we had received from prior social distancing is being rapidly reduced because of this.

If you want to continue opening NC please wear a mask as a beginning.

PS: I took a week long break from these updates to refresh myself (I felt like I was getting ready to explode).

Statistics

Internationally – total confirmed cases 6,095,260. Deaths 369,789 Gives a death rate of 6.06%. That is 60 people out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus.

United States – total cases 1,771,124 Deaths 103,815 Gives a death rate of 5.86%%. That is 58.6 out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus.

North Carolina – total cases 27,673 Death 877. Gives a death rate of 3.17%. That is 31.7 out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus. 638 hospitalizations.

Surrounding counties.
  • Lenoir – total cases 215 death 7
  • Jones – total cases 26 death 3
  • Greene – total cases 77 death 2
  • Pitt – total cases 295 death 2
  • Onslow – total cases 108 death 2
  • Beaufort- total cases 34 death 0
  • Bertie – total cases 122 death 4
  • Craven – total cases 204 death 5
  • Carteret – total cases 35 death 3
  • Wayne – total cases 1112 death 20
  • Duplin – total cases 794 death 12
  • Forsyth – total cases 1253 death 11
  • Nash – total cases 201 death 4
  • Wilson – total cases 347 death 10

Dr. Pradeep Arumugham is a Pitt County cardiologist and faculty member at East Carolina University.

Posted in Health, State news

May 28th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

With 2.1 million more unemployment claims filed this week despite all U.S. states starting to reopen, WalletHub released updated rankings for the States Hit Most by Unemployment Claims, and North Carolina ranked poorly, coming in at 9th.

Since North Carolina is the 10 largest state by population, 9th would indicate it is doing slightly worse than it should for a state its size.

To identify which states’ workforces have been hurt the most by COVID-19, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on increases in unemployment claims during the latest week for which we have data (May 18) and overall since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis (March 16). We used this data to rank the most impacted states for both periods. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A. To see the states most impacted since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

Increase in North Carolina Unemployment Claims Due to Coronavirus (1=Worst, 25=Avg.):

  • 1,167.85% Increase in Unemployment Claims (May 2020 vs May 2019)
    • 43,221 the week of May 18, 2020 vs 3,409 the week of May 20, 2019
    • 9th highest increase in the U.S.
  • 1,132.07% Increase in the Number of Unemployment Claims (May 2020 vs January 2020)
    • 43,221 the week of May 18, 2020 vs 3,508 the week of January 1, 2020
    • 5th highest increase in the U.S.
  • 3,243.18% Increase in Unemployment Claims Since Pandemic Started
    • 982,456 between the week of March 16, 2020 and the week of May 18, 2020 vs 30,293 between the week of March 18, 2019 and the week of May 20, 2019
    • 7th highest increase in the U.S.

As every state begins to reopen at least partially after months of keeping non-essential businesses closed, Americans hope to see the massive spike in unemployment start to reverse. More than 40 million Americans have found themselves temporarily or permanently out of a job since the week of March 16, which translates to a staggering 14.5% unemployment. Though the reopening of states will provide opportunities for some people to go back to work, businesses will open in stages rather than all at once, and many may not have the resources to hire as many people as they did previously.

Not all states have experienced the same levels of unemployment due to the pandemic. To identify which states’ workforces have been hurt most by COVID-19, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on increases in unemployment claims during the latest week for which we have data (May 18) and overall since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis (March 16). We used this data to rank the most impacted states for both periods. Read on for the results, additional commentary from a panel of experts and a full description of our methodology.

Source: WalletHub

 

States with the Biggest Increases in Unemployment Claims Due to Coronavirus

State Most Affected Last Week  Most Affected Since Start of COVID-19 Crisis
Florida 1 4
Georgia 2 1
Virginia 3 5
Mississippi 4 18
Kentucky 5 3
Oklahoma 6 12
New Hampshire 7 2
North Carolina 8 7
Louisiana 9 6
District of Columbia 10 17
South Dakota 11 9
Indiana 12 8
New York 13 35
Texas 14 34
Maryland 15 23
Delaware 16 27
Alaska 17 49
Tennessee 18 22
Nevada 19 21
New Mexico 20 28
South Carolina 21 10
Alabama 22 20
Arizona 23 44
Washington 24 19
Colorado 25 14
Minnesota 26 13
Wyoming 27 45
North Dakota 28 16
Illinois 29 42
Nebraska 30 26
Hawaii 31 24
Oregon 32 51
Kansas 33 31
California 34 48
Michigan 35 11
Maine 36 15
Massachusetts 37 32
Ohio 38 25
Wisconsin 39 46
Iowa 40 38
Pennsylvania 41 33
Missouri 42 29
Arkansas 43 41
Utah 44 36
West Virginia 45 30
Connecticut 46 50
Montana 47 40
Idaho 48 39
New Jersey 49 43
Rhode Island 50 37
Vermont 51 47

Rank 1 = Most Affected.

Detailed Findings

State Increase in Unemployment Claims (2020 vs 2019)* Increase in Unemployment Claims (May vs January 2020)** Increase in Unemployment Claims (May vs Start of COVID-19 Crisis)***
Florida 2746.18% 3662.04% 3961.00%
Georgia 3821.50% 863.36% 4769.85%
Virginia 2181.58% 1737.86% 3371.78%
Mississippi 1001.72% 1966.89% 2269.54%
Kentucky 1937.07% 938.42% 3969.78%
Oklahoma 1765.68% 991.64% 2629.52%
New Hampshire 1660.86% 910.58% 4062.60%
North Carolina 1167.85% 1132.07% 3243.18%
Louisiana 769.91% 1338.66% 3337.29%
District of Columbia 1033.41% 965.07% 2314.72%
South Dakota 1117.86% 756.78% 3059.38%
Indiana 1279.42% 492.65% 3095.90%
New York 1407.51% 328.56% 1656.26%
Texas 792.41% 935.86% 1681.29%
Maryland 947.26% 734.76% 2074.72%
Delaware 1104.79% 446.63% 1945.54%
Alaska 764.94% 770.23% 1183.93%
Tennessee 774.74% 744.39% 2131.11%
Nevada 745.10% 699.56% 2172.91%
New Mexico 612.61% 819.52% 1944.24%
South Carolina 1151.88% 233.96% 2817.04%
Alabama 899.96% 471.02% 2219.20%
Arizona 550.96% 758.17% 1322.27%
Washington 868.90% 431.52% 2222.54%
Colorado 736.76% 547.10% 2356.18%
Minnesota 962.96% 292.36% 2394.44%
Wyoming 958.99% 247.13% 1302.92%
North Dakota 899.09% 291.99% 2320.88%
Illinois 661.27% 395.45% 1331.63%
Nebraska 576.84% 434.58% 1955.97%
Hawaii 621.78% 375.78% 2050.04%
Oregon 653.60% 309.80% 1107.89%
Kansas 473.81% 475.24% 1772.24%
California 454.78% 478.28% 1188.53%
Michigan 586.83% 337.00% 2708.36%
Maine 764.71% 147.50% 2353.29%
Massachusetts 595.16% 298.77% 1762.38%
Ohio 535.32% 293.74% 2002.09%
Wisconsin 705.58% 120.23% 1246.56%
Iowa 585.43% 218.05% 1580.35%
Pennsylvania 603.79% 154.26% 1681.46%
Missouri 495.79% 246.76% 1938.07%
Arkansas 425.57% 306.21% 1348.70%
Utah 418.04% 259.35% 1639.78%
West Virginia 470.30% 204.48% 1911.97%
Connecticut 516.05% 111.21% 1110.10%
Montana 364.31% 132.60% 1431.98%
Idaho 420.61% 51.23% 1570.47%
New Jersey 319.90% 117.23% 1331.32%
Rhode Island 326.90% 48.07% 1626.70%
Vermont 244.19% 117.65% 1215.13%

*Refers to the increase in the number of unemployment insurance initial claims in the week of May 18, 2020 compared to the week of May 20, 2019.
**Refers to the increase in the number of unemployment insurance initial claims in the week of May 18, 2020 compared to the week of January 1, 2020.
***Refers to the increase in the Number of Unemployment Insurance Initial Claims between the weeks of March 16, 2020 to May 18, 2020 compared to the weeks of March 18, 2019 to May 20, 2019.

 

 

Red vs. Blue States

 

 

 

Posted in Economy, Economy and Employment, Health, State news, WalletHub

May 25th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Craven County continues to outpace its neighbors in the growth of COVID-19 cases, rising 11 cases in the past 24 hours by North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services records, or three cases by Craven County Health Department records.

The two agencies often differ in their daily count but jibe over longer periods of time.

The Craven County Health Department keeps more detailed records, however.

Three of the active COVID-19 cases are currently hospitalized.

There are 132 active cases, a number that has risen sharply over the past two weeks, while 45 cases are reported as recovered, a number that has stayed the same for much of the last week.

There have been four deaths related to COVID-19.

Of the 186 cases, seven have been related to out of state travel, 26 are from community transmission, and 153 are a direct contact with a previously confirmed positive case.

 

Total Confirmed Cases Craven County

Active Cases

Craven County

Recovered 

Craven County

Deaths

Craven County

Currently Hospitalized 

Craven County

186

137

45

4

3

 

The Craven County Health Department works with state, commercial, and private labs to track the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Craven County. Health care providers determine which lab they send their COVID-19 tests to. There are multiple hospital and commercial labs that conduct COVID-19 tests. These labs manage their own supplies and operate independently from the Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health.

Craven County will continue to track and post the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases; however, it is important to recognize there are many people with COVID-19 who will not be included in daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases, including:

  • People who had minimal or no symptoms and were not tested.
  • People who had symptoms but did not seek medical care.
  • People who sought medical care but were not tested.
  • People with COVID-19 in whom the virus was not detected by testing.

The number of laboratory-confirmed cases will increasingly provide a limited picture of the spread of infections in Craven County as COVID-19 becomes more widespread and the number of infected people who are not included in the daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases increases.       

Region

Although still third in its eight-county region of neighboring and nearby counties, Craven County’s growth rate continues to outpace them all. At its current pace, it is about to overtake Lenoir County for the second highest case count, although Lenoir County still leads the region in deaths, with seven.

 

State

Overview

 

Cases

 

Deaths

 

Testing

 


 

 

 

Posted in Craven County, History, State news

May 24th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Craven County has 183 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 11 a.m. on May 24, 2020, up two in the last 24 hours and continuing a steep upward trajectory caused by a single outbreak cluster that started showing up in laboratory testing nearly two weeks ago.

Here are some points to ponder:

Active cases greatly outnumber recovered cases, and it’s getting worse

The number of active cases increased by two over the past 24 hours, and is now at 132 lab-confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, the number of recovered cases has barely changed during the course of this cluster spike.

There were 32 recovered cases on May 1 with 45 recovered cases by May 24.

Even worse, just 13 people recovered in the past three weeks, while the number of active cases went from six to 132 during that same period. Ten times more people got sick than got well.

With so many new cases, why are so few hospitalized?

Of the 132 active cases, three are hospitalized and the remaining 129 are quarantined and recuperating at home.

The cluster was first reported by health officials on May 13 when the total number of cases jumped by 10 in one day. Between May 13 and Sunday, known transmissions increased from 69 to 183 — 114 new cases.

During the 11-day period that the cluster has been growing, only eight people have been reported as recovered, while the number of total active cases increased by 106.

This is the kind of spike that causes virologists to lose sleep at night. It is the reason for isolation and social distancing … to keep the number of cases as low as possible in order to prevent cases from overwhelming local hospitals.

Puzzling, however, is the number of hospitalizations and the number of deaths — both of which have stayed relatively low (four deaths, with the first on April 9 and the fourth on April 24; and right around four hospitalizations during that period).

Health department officials, bound by federal privacy laws, release as little information about the cluster as possible.

We know most live in the 28562 ZIP code. We know they live and work in close proximity and commute to work. We know the source of the contagion came from a neighboring county

We can conclude that they are young and relatively fit, but also conclude that they lack health insurance and may not be citizens.

All those factors may play a role in whether they seek hospitalization if they need it and why the death rate (half that of the state as a whole) remains relatively low (although third highest in the region).

The cluster is isolated but frighteningly contagious

Three quarters of Craven County’s COVID-19 cases are contained entirely within this cluster of family, friends, and co-workers.

Continuing on with speculation, we suspect that it is a tight-knit group that stays to themselves. (With that many people sick, you would think SOMEHOW the word would get out about who they are.)

That might give everyone else an artificial feeling of safety. Of the 183 confirmed cases in Craven County, only 26 have caught the virus from unknown sources, a number that has remained relatively flat for a month and a half.

Then again, a few people brought the virus home from work, and before long, it spread to more than 130 family, friends, and co-workers in the space of about two weeks.

Anyone who still thinks COVID-19 is like the flu or a common cold, think about that.

No matter how isolated these people are, they or their symptom-free, untested relatives still have to venture out and shop for groceries — just about the only businesses that were open during the first two months of the lockdown.

And now we’re in Phase 2. Have you SEEN how close people have been and how large crowds have been over the long Memorial Day weekend?

* * *

Here’s the boilerplate info from the Craven County Health Department’s Sunday report.

Out of the 183 confirmed positive cases, 45 of those individuals have recovered, are doing well, and are out of isolation. The recovered cases completed the necessary isolation requirement and have been free of COVID-19 symptoms for at least 72 hours.

Of the 183 cases, seven have been related to out of state travel, 26 are from community transmission, and 150 are a direct contact with a previously confirmed positive case.  There have been four deaths related to COVID-19. Three of the active COVID-19 cases are currently hospitalized.

Craven County citizens are encouraged to use reputable sources of information to learn more about COVID-19 cases in Craven County and North Carolina.  Reputable sources of information include the Craven County Health Department and NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) websites.

When using the NCDHHS COVID-19 site to stay up to date, please keep in mind that county case numbers may change once residency is verified. Therefore, the total number on the county map may differ from the number of Craven County Cases.

Total Confirmed Cases Craven County

Active Cases

Craven County

Recovered 

Craven County

Deaths

Craven County

Currently Hospitalized 

Craven County

183

134

45

4

3

 

The Craven County Health Department works with state, commercial, and private labs to track the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Craven County. Health care providers determine which lab they send their COVID-19 tests to. There are multiple hospital and commercial labs that conduct COVID-19 tests. These labs manage their own supplies and operate independently from the Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health.

Craven County will continue to track and post the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases; however, it is important to recognize there are many people with COVID-19 who will not be included in daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases, including:

  • People who had minimal or no symptoms and were not tested.
  • People who had symptoms but did not seek medical care.
  • People who sought medical care but were not tested.
  • People with COVID-19 in whom the virus was not detected by testing.

The number of laboratory-confirmed cases will increasingly provide a limited picture of the spread of infections in Craven County as COVID-19 becomes more widespread and the number of infected people who are not included in the daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases increases.

 

Region

The last 24 hours have been relatively calm, with “just” 12 new cases and no new deaths in the eight-county region in and around Craven County. Here’s the overview:

State

Here are the latest reports from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Overview


     

Cases

Deaths


Testing

Posted in Craven County, Health, State news

May 23rd, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Craven County Health reported 13 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the count to 181 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 11:00 a.m. on May 23, 2020.

All 13 cases could be traced to a previously confirmed case. The health department report did not say if the 13 new cases are related to the county’s main outbreak cluster, which totaled 123 cases Friday afternoon. If related, that would bring the cluster to 136 cases out of 181 in the county.

Meanwhile, there are now 132 active cases in Craven County, a number that has continued to grow steadily since May 5, with 45 recoveries, a number that has remained the same for much of the week.

The number of deaths remained the same at four, while the number of cases hospitalized droped by one, and was three as of Saturday afternoon, according to the Health Department report.

An individual is considered recovered if they are doing well and are out of isolation. The recovered cases completed the necessary isolation requirement and have been free of COVID-19 symptoms for at least 72 hours.

Of the 181 cases, seven have been related to out of state travel, 26 are from community transmission, and 148 are a direct contact with a previously confirmed positive case.  T

 

Total Confirmed Cases Craven County

Active Cases

Craven County

Recovered 

Craven County

Deaths

Craven County

Currently Hospitalized 

Craven County

181

132

45

4

3

 

The Craven County Health Department works with state, commercial, and private labs to track the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Craven County. Health care providers determine which lab they send their COVID-19 tests to. There are multiple hospital and commercial labs that conduct COVID-19 tests. These labs manage their own supplies and operate independently from the Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health.

Craven County will continue to track and post the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases; however, it is important to recognize there are many people with COVID-19 who will not be included in daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases, including:

  • People who had minimal or no symptoms and were not tested.
  • People who had symptoms but did not seek medical care.
  • People who sought medical care but were not tested.
  • People with COVID-19 in whom the virus was not detected by testing.

The number of laboratory-confirmed cases will increasingly provide a limited picture of the spread of infections in Craven County as COVID-19 becomes more widespread and the number of infected people who are not included in the daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases increases.

Region

As has often been case over the pst two weeks, the largest growth occurred in Craven County over the past 24 cases, with 13 new cases. Overall, the eight-county region in and around Craven County saw 40 new cases but zero deaths.

State

Updated daily by 11 a.m. Last updated May 23, 2020 at 11:33 a.m.

Knowing when to dial up or down measures that slow the spread of the virus depends on North Carolina’s testing, tracing and trends. This dashboard provides an overview on the metrics and capacities that the state is following.

Overview

Cases

Deaths

Testing

Contact Tracing

Does North Carolina have sufficient capacity to conduct contact tracing?

Updated every Wednesday by 4 p.m.

Contact tracing is a proven, effective way to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing identifies people that have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This helps us more rapidly identify those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and quickly get them the necessary supports and resources that can help protect them and their loved ones.

Local health departments and health agencies have used contact tracing in North Carolina for decades to control the spread of other diseases such as tuberculosis and measles. Local health departments have been using contact tracing for COVID-19 since the first cases were identified in North Carolina.

To meet the scale needed to respond to COVID-19, we are building on the work of local health departments to expand contact tracing by tapping into additional local health department employees, contractors (through the Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative and Child Care Health Consultants), hospitals, and other community partners.

North Carolina is committed to ensuring contact tracing teams reflect the communities they serve and are well positioned to reach the communities hardest hit by COVID.

Contact Tracing by the Numbers Status
New Contact Tracers hired through Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative 152
Number of Contact Tracers 250

Who has been hired through the Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative?

Demographics of Contact Tracers Hired Total Hired Hired Percentage
Black or African American 44 29%
Hispanic or Latino 19 13%
American Indian or Alaska Native 4 3%
Asian 4 3%
White 60 39%
Two or more races 6 4%
No Response 15 10%
Sum 152 100%

 

Language(s) Spoken by Contact Tracers Total Percent
English Only 82 55%
Bilingual 69 45%

Posted in Craven County, Health, Public safety, State news

May 22nd, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

REVISED | Craven County has 168 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 11:30 a.m. on May 22, 2020, the Craven County Health Department reported Friday.

That’s another 28 cases over the previous 24 hours, all of which are traceable to someone who was previously identified as positive.

Over the past seven days there has been a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Craven County. With the exception of two cases, all of the most recent cases are due to direct contact with a previously confirmed positive case. These newest COVID-19 cases are isolated to a segment of friends, family members, and co-workers.

That cluster, which originated in a neighboring county at a workplace and was transmitted to Craven County by carpool, totals 123 as of Friday afternoon.

In all, 80 percent of Craven County’s cases have been linked to identified sources.

It is unsurprising that Craven County is experiencing a second wave in this spike, as new cases emerge that were infected but undetected during the first wave.

There are 250 contact tracers in North Carolina, according to the NCDHHS, but the majority are busy in major urban areas and are spread thin in rural parts of the state, especially when there are other rural counties such as Lenoir, Sampson, and Duplin, that are experiencing even larger spikes.

The number of recovered cases in Craven County has not changed over the past few days, but the number of active cases has climbed to 119 cases.

The health department said 45 have recovered and are out of isolation.

The recovered cases completed the necessary isolation requirement and have been free of COVID-19 symptoms for at least 72 hours.

Of the 168 cases, seven have been related to out of state travel, a number that has not changed since shortly after Craven County’s outbreak.

Another 26 are from community transmission for which medical officials could not find the source.

The rest, 135, are a direct contact with a previously confirmed positive case.

There have been four deaths related to COVID-19 in Craven County. Four of the active COVID-19 cases are currently hospitalized.

 

Total Confirmed Cases Craven County

Active Cases

Craven County

Recovered 

Craven County

Deaths

Craven County

Currently Hospitalized 

Craven County

168

119

45

4

4

 

 

 

 

 

It is important to recognize there are many people with COVID-19 who will not be included in daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases, including:

  • People who had minimal or no symptoms and were not tested.
  • People who had symptoms but did not seek medical care.
  • People who sought medical care but were not tested.
  • People with COVID-19 in whom the virus was not detected by testing.

The number of laboratory-confirmed cases will increasingly provide a limited picture of the spread of infections in Craven County as COVID-19 becomes more widespread and the number of infected people who are not included in the daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases increases.           

Craven County COVID-19 Cases by Age, Gender, Death Rate, and Mode of Transmission

AGE

0-17

18-24

25-49

50-64

65+

Percent of Total Cases

16%

11%

42%

21%

10%

GENDER

Male

Female

   Percent of Total Cases

57%

43%

DEATH RATE

North Carolina

Craven County

Per 100,000   

6.94

3.92

MODE OF TRANSMISSION

Travel

Community Transmission

Direct Contact

   Percent of Total Cases

4%

15%

80%

*Rates are calculated using population estimates from the US Census Bureau

When using the NCDHHS COVID-19 site to stay up to date, please keep in mind that county case numbers may change once residency is verified. Therefore, the total number on the county map may differ from the number of Craven County Cases.

Case chart 5-22-20

Case chart 2 5-22-20

*Charts contain data collected up to May 21, 2020.

Note: As you review the data, please be aware this data is preliminary and may change as cases are investigated. Percentages may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Also, the data is representative of the confirmed cases, not of all COVID-19 cases in Craven County.

Region

The eight-county region of Craven County and neighboring and nearby counties had a rough 24 hours, with 52 new cases including 28 in Craven and 12 in Pitt County. (Note: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect death count for Carteret County based on erroneous information from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The correct count, three, was confirmed by the Carteret County Health Department. The chart below has also been revised with the correct information.)

The highest rates per 10,000 residents continue to be, in order from highest, Lenoir, Jones, and Craven counties.

State

Despite accelerating growth of cases in our region, North Carolina entered Phase 2 to relax measures intended to slow the spread of the virus.

Here are stats from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Cases

 

Deaths

 

 

Overview

 

Posted in Craven County, Health, State news

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