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Cornelius News

County health director ‘incredibly concerned,’ but hospitals not overwhelmed

Gibbie Harris during Zoom press conference Dec. 21

Dec. 21. By Dave Yochum. With Mecklenburg County almost certainly entering the COVID-19 “Red Zone” with critical community spread of the coronavirus, Health Director Gibbie Harris is urging people to avoid gatherings, including attending indoor church services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

“Unfortunately I think we are already in our Red Zone if you look at the data,” she said.

The NC Dept. of Health & Human Services today reported 4,479 new COVID-19 cases statewide, and 573 new cases in Mecklenburg County.

There were 29 new cases in Cornelius, which has one of the highest incidences of the coronavirus among residents in the county—1,051 infections per 100,000 residents, or one in 100. Davidson, which has adopted stricter regulations around the pandemic, has 476.7 infections per 100,000 residents between Dec. 3 and Dec. 16.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Mecklenburg since the start of the pandemic is expected to hit 60,000 within the next week.

Local hospitals ‘maintaining’

Local hospitals are “maintaining…seeing some increases, but maintaining normal operations,” Harris said.

“But the amount of virus right now is widespread,” she said, mentioning the danger of packed bars and breweries. “If you are in those situations, you are putting yourself at risk and your family at risk,” Harris said.

Her concern is a new wave of the coronavirus at Christmas coming on top of the Thanksgiving wave which has not subsided.

“We are concerned if we continue to move forward with some of the behaviors over the past couple of weeks we’re going to see those spikes again in January…which might come on top of elevated numbers from Thanksgiving,” Harris said.


There were 16 new deaths statewide due to the coronavirus.


The statewide positivity rate rose slightly to 11 percent from 10.6 percent. It hit 12.5 percent on Wednesday last week. The Mecklenburg County positivity rate is 11.2 percent.

North Meck

Cornelius: 29 new cases, 1,381 cumulative; 17 deaths total.

Davidson: 10 new cases, 733 cumulative; 8 deaths total.

Huntersville: 40 new cases, 2,716 cumulative; 20 deaths total.