Craven County, with 232 cases, is just one case behind Lenoir, with 233. During this pandemic, in the eight county region in and around Craven County, Pitt County has had the most cases, followed in order by Lenoir and Craven counties. That order could be about to change.

Craven County’s infection numbers are accelerating and confirmed COVID-19 cases here are about to overtake neighboring hotspot Lenoir County.

The region as a whole has seen a spike, jumping 97 cases in the past 48 hours. That rate is about five times higher than has become “normal” for the region since the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic started showing up in North Carolina in early March.

Just as sobering is the increasing number of cases in Craven County that have been contracted “in the wild” — community-spread cases for which the source is unknown but likely local.

That’s when you catch the virus from an infected person while, say, eating at a restaurant, hanging out at the country club, spending the day shopping — those things that have been happening since restrictions were relaxed under Phase 1 on May 8 and Phase 2 on May 22.

Add to that participating in protest marches and sharing megaphones.

And by the way, Phase 3 could kick in as early as June 19.

We got a glimpse of increased instances of community spread from reports out of the Craven County Health Department Thursday and Friday. But for the first time in a couple of months, the Health Department did not release reports over the weekend. Unclear why.

Once it does release its next report, we’ll get a better understanding of the nature of the increases that have been experienced in Craven and its surrounding counties. Hoping to get that data on Monday.

Going by numbers from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Craven County had 232 confirmed cases when I checked about 1:30 p.m. Sunday. That’s 11 more than was reported around noon on Friday.

The Craven County Health Department’s report drills down more than the NCDHHS report, providing such details as whether a new case is community spread, from a known source, or from a source from outside the state (a number that has been stuck on 7 since nearly the beginning), active and recovered cases, deaths, and hospitalizations.

Once a week (Fridays), the Craven Health Department provides statistics about age, gender, mode of transmission, and death rate. It had been providing data about race and ethnicity, but stopped doing that when the county’s super cluster started to develop. Last I checked, the super cluster accounted for about 150 of Craven County’s 232 cases.

The NCDHHS report provides one thing that the county report does not: ZIP code data. In Craven County, the 28562 New Bern ZIP code accounts for the majority of cases in Craven County, with 149 lab-confirmed cases as of Sunday afternoon.

Comparing day-to-day statistics, it appears most of the super cluster patients reside in the 28562 ZIP code, because it had the fastest-rising number as the cluster grew.

If you think COVID-19 is a thing of the past, think again.

Here’s more stuff for you to look at.

 

 

While I’m at it I’ll add this:

 

 

If you want to see the data yourself, go here.

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