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Cornelius News

Key COVID indicators are ‘stable’


May 15. By Dave Yochum. The state and Mecklenburg County may be on track to enter Phase Two of reopening next week. North Carolina has doubled the daily testing rate from approximately 2,500 to 3,000 to more than 6,000.

Gov. Roy Cooper said the state will use the data gathered during Phase One before deciding to move into Phase Two of reopening.


“North Carolinians should continue to stay home if they can and take precautions to keep themselves safe,” Cooper said.

New data out this morning from the NC Dept. of Health & Human Services indicate that testing increased 5.6 percent in one day, from a total of 219,268 yesterday to 231,547 as of 11 am today. That’s a positive.

But more testing contributes to an increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in North Carolina: They rose 3.7 percent, from 16,507 statewide yesterday to 17,129 today, according to the NCDHHS.

While that’s a 23.5 percent increase over the course of a week, there are actually 23 fewer people hospitalized due to COVID-19 than there were last Friday.

We compared the number of new cases in North Carolina yesterday to new case counts in New York and New Jersey, based on data from Johns Hopkins University. (Data can vary by reporting method, but trends can be identified.)

North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases is “slightly” increasing.

North Carolina: 617 new cases
South Carolina: 159 new cases
Georgia: 550 new cases

—Source: Johns Hopkins University


Total NC deaths as of this morning are at 641, up 44 from yesterday and up from 527 last Friday.

It’s an array of data that changes almost daily, with some numbers up and some numbers down and vice versa the next day.

Err on the side of caution?

Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox said in a global pandemic one should err on the side of caution.

The Town Board, management team and the mayor are looking at what steps they can take to “assure the highest level of safety for all of our citizens, those most at risk and those that may not be at risk but do have the potential of infecting others,” Knox said. It’s possible Davidson could adopt its own COVID-19 regulations.

At The Pines in Davidson, a senior living complex, Executive Director Steven Jewell said five residents have COVID-19 in addition to a total of five cases among staff. No one has died.

Cornelius outbreak

In Cornelius, at the Autumn Care nursing home, 18 residents have died. There are 41 cases among residents and 23 among staff.

Because of what’s happening at Autumn Care, Cornelius represents 29 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in Mecklenburg County regardless of age. COVID-19 kills those over 65 at a disproportionate rate. It’s unknown at this point how COVID-19 invaded both Autumn Care and The Pines—whether through visitors or staff or even vendors.

Davidson’s mayor said guidelines that North Carolina has established are done by experts and are done based on fact-based information.

“That fact-based information is what we have to turn to for direction here in town,” Knox said.

“Every community has unique characteristics and Davidson will adopt our policies based on the best possible outcomes for our town,” Knox said.

Mecklenburg County

The “epicenter” of COVID-19 in North Carolina—Mecklenburg County—has seen no new deaths due to the novel coronavirus for five days.

Cornelius Today uses official NCDHHS data to report COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. To view the NCDHHS data, click here.

Mecklenburg cases reached 2,385, up 65 from yesterday, but the death count was level at 62.

The number of cases is likely to continue to rise as testing and tracing ramps up, but the trajectory in percent of tests returning positive has been decreasing and is starting to level.

The Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative has already hired close to 100 new contact tracers on top of the 250 already working in local health departments.

Phase Two

Phase Two allows for a limited reopening of establishments like restaurants, bars, gyms, and hair salons.

“We’ll see what happens over the next couple of days,” Gibbie Harris, county health director said, explaining that people need to continue social distancing.

“We need to continue to wear masks in public when we cannot social distance,” Harris said.

May 22 is the key date

Right now North Carolina is in phase one of Gov. Cooper’s three-phase reopening plan. During phase one, the stay at home order is still in place. But retailers, malls, and state parks can operate with limited capacity.

Phase Two is scheduled to begin May 22, but that could change. In a separate press conference Thursday, Cooper said more time was needed to determine when the next phase could begin.

“We will use the time in this phase to keep a careful eye on the data and the indicators before we are ready to announce the start of Phase 2,” Cooper said.

Harris says Mecklenburg County will increase COVID-19 testing as the state reopens. She wants to test 5 percent of the population over the next 30 days, double the current rate of testing.