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Cornelius News

Phase 2 reopening in sight as COVID-19 testing increases

May 18. UPDATED 5 pm. With Phase Two reopening scheduled to begin in only four days, new numbers from the NC Dept. of Health & Human Services show 20 more COVID-19 deaths from Friday’s data, as well as 19 more hospitalizations.

NEW: The NCDHHS reports 11,637 people in North Carolina have recovered from COVID-19. That’s up from 9,115 a week ago.

Ending Phase One depends on trends moving in the right direction. A total of 661 North Carolinians have died, according to the NCDHHS. But positive tests as a percentage of total tests (chart at top) are decreasing.

Three weeks of consecutive leveling in hospitalizations—they’re now at 511, up from 492 Friday—is encouraging.

Roughly 50 percent of those who have died from COVID-19 were residents of a congregate living facility. At Autumn Care in Cornelius, one of 77 congregate living settings where outbreaks have occurred, 18 residents have died.

Testing is up considerably: 255,755 North Carolinians have been tested, up from 231,547 on Friday. There were 1,894 new COVID-19 cases between those reported as of 11 am Friday and 11 am today when the state reported just over 19,000 cases. NCDHHS reports 2,652 cases in Mecklenburg County, up from 2,385 late last week. There have been 63, according to NCDHHS. To view their data directly, click here.

The increase in new positive cases seems to be leveling off statewide and nationally.



Cornelius Today compared the United States’ new confirmed cases per day to North Carolina’s. We used a logarithmic scale based on units of 10s, as in: 0-10; 10-100; 100-1000; 1,000-10,000; 10,000-100,000; etc. We would be unable to effectively report US and NC numbers on the same chart because NC new cases are in the hundreds and the US are in the tens of thousands. The chart conveys the rate of change from one day to the next starting April 25 and concluding May 17.

All data obtained came from Johns Hopkins University.

The question at this point is whether current restrictions are necessary beyond 5 pm on May 22 when Phase One is set to expire.

Testing is increasing dramatically, resulting in more positive cases—and the ability to control and isolate.

The NCDHHS is recommending tests based on:

—People with coronavirus symptoms

—People who have come in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case, regardless of symptoms

—People living in or frequently in contact with high-risk areas like nursing homes, first responders and front-line workers historically marginalized communities people at high risk for severe illness

Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris hopes to test 5 percent of the population over the next 30 days, or about 1,850 people a day. The county is not focused on antibody testing at this point.

The governor also announced new testing sites around the state last week.