The post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 spike in Craven County continued today, with one reported death and 55 new cases over the past 24 hours.

While still a significant increase, it was the lowest daily increase in nine days. It’s too early to tell whether the spike is subsiding. Although New Bern Post predicted the spike after one day of data earlier this month, the prediction was based on historical increases following significant social events.

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Whether the spike is subsiding will have to wait for more comparative data, and data for the period between noon today through noon Monday won’t be available from the Craven County Health Department until Monday.

Data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services for Craven County may be available over the weekend, but its figures have differed so widely from local numbers that it’s almost like they are from a different county.

Still, using today’s state figure for Craven County of 3,828 lab-confirmed cases (128 more than Craven County’s report), we will see whether that figure changes during the weekend and report any significant changes. (Update: 3,870 by Sunday morning, an increase of 42.)

Craven County has 3,720 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, according to the Craven County Health Department.

With 661 active cases, Craven County continues to set records because of that post-holiday spike. Insufficient time has passed for recoveries — and unfortunately, deaths — to chip away at the mounting active cases.

More New Bern Post COVID-19 coverage here.

The Craven County Health Department said 2,982 Craven County residents have recovered.

Hospitalizations of Craven County residents was 22 on Friday, an increase of 2. Requests for total COVID-19 cases (not just Craven County residents) at CarolinaEast Medical Center have gone unanswered since Wednesday. We will post any updates once they become available.

Transmission reports: Daily

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

Community transmissions in Craven County over the past day increased nearly as much as direct contacts (see chart, above). That nearly 50/50 split shows a sharp increase in community transmissions, which happen when people get sick after being exposed to someone they may not know, out in a social setting.

Direct contacts occur when someone gets sick after being exposed to someone known to be sick, such as a family member, co-worker, and so on.

Transmission over time

Death No. 77

An unidentified Craven County resident died from complications related to COVID-19 on Dec. 9, 2020. The individual was tested for COVID-19 on Nov. 28, 2020 and resulted positive the same day.

The individual had underlying health conditions, like all preceding deaths in Craven County. To protect the family’s privacy, no further information about the individual will be released.

How Craven County compares to similar-size NC counties

Although Craven County leads in total COVID-19-related deaths among its nearby neighbors — Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico, and Pitt — it might be interesting to see how it compares to other North Carolina counties of about the same population.

Among those, Craven is faring slightly better. We ran the numbers:

Among seven North Carolina counties with around 100,000 population, Craven County ranks second in population, fourth in total COVID-19 cases, and fourth in COVID-19-related deaths.

The worst conditions exist in Cleveland County, which ranks 1st in both cases and deaths. The best conditions exist in Rockingham County, which ranks 6th in cases and 7th in deaths.

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