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Cornelius News

Covid-19 cases jump county-wide, 1-3 in Cornelius

​March 23. By Dave Yochum. There are 9​7 confirmed​ cases of C​ovid​-19 in Mecklenburg County​, with 1-3 of them in Cornelius, according to Mecklenburg County officials. The number of cases is going up rapidly; there were only 80 cases Sunday evening.​

Test results ​are coming in slowly,​ according to​ Public Health Director Gibbie Harris.​ ​At this point, the county has access to ​three​ test kits at a time, so the actual number of cases could be higher.

The Town of Cornelius is closing public restrooms out of sanitation concerns. The annual budget retreat—where commissioners hash out the dollars and cents of every department’s spending plan—has been postponed.

Cornelius Mayor Woody Washam asked residents to “remain diligent at staying at home.”

Of course, Covid-19 is spread by social contact. Explaining that Jetton Park was packed on Sunday,

Press conference with county manager Dena Dorio, health director Gibbie Harris

he urged residents not to play basketball with others for example and not to endanger others by inadvertently spreading what has turned out to be a deadly disease.

More than 200 have died in the United States so far.

That said, the governor of North Carolina has not issued a shelter in place at this point, unlike California, Illinois and New York.

At a press conference in Charlotte at lunchtime, County Health Director Harris said we are not taking Covid-19 seriously enough in Mecklenburg County. Some people are still gathering, whether it’s in Charlotte at Freedom Park or here at Jetton Park or Ramsey Creek Park.

​Roughly a third of ​the ​cases ​here ​are ​”​community spread​,” which means there’s not evidence of travel to a hot spot like Italy or China or contact with a known case.

H​arris, who at one point​ suggested a shelter in place could be ordered for Mecklenburg County, said 12 ​people are ​hospitalized ​right now, with most of them over the age of 65.

​”O​ur numbers are not encouraging​,” she said. “People are continuing to act as if we do not have this problem and that is discouraging.​”


County Commissioner Pat Cotham said county leaders across the state are expected to join in conference calls during the next 24 hours, the first time she has seen that, suggesting more stringent rules could happen.

Mayor John Aneralla said Keller Technology is “ramping up right now to do the respirator machines and other medical devices needed to combat this virus.”

“I see all of North Mecklenburg pitching in and doing what they need to do,” Aneralla said.