WNC COVID-19 Updates Week Of Dec. 14

Dec 14, 2020

(12/20 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 479,168 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 6,900 from the day before.  2,748 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 98 from the day before.  6,224 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 40 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 22,861 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 397 deaths, an increase of 461 cases and 3 deaths from the day before.

(12/19 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 472,268 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 6,164 from the day before.  2,846 people are currently hospitalized (a new high), an increase of 22 from the day before.  6,184 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 59 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 22,400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 394 deaths, an increase of 536 cases and 3 deaths from the day before." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

(12/18 5 p.m.) There are now 85 COVID-19 cases associated with a holiday event held earlier this month at a church in Hendersonville – up from 75 earlier this week.  The Henderson County Health Department says the cluster is linked  to a gathering that took place over the December 5th weekend at First Baptist Church in Hendersonville. Health officials say contact tracing is underway.  A statement on the church website says in-person services and other events will be suspended for a month.

(12/18 2 p.m.) There have been four deaths due to COVID-19 announced in Haywood County. This brings the total number of deaths associated with the virus to 55. At the time of their death, one was a resident of Spicewood Cottages, one of Autumn Care and two died at Mission Health in Asheville, according to the local health department.

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(12/18 2 p.m.) A COVID-19 outbreak at Grandview Manor Care Center in Macon County. Ten residents and staff total have tested positive for COVID-19 (eight residents and two staff). All patients who have tested positive are doing well and isolated from others, according to Macon County Public Health.

(12/18 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 466,104 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 8,444 from the day before (a new daily record).  2,824 people are currently hospitalized (a new high), an increase of 20 from the day before.  6,125 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 60 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 21,864 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 391 deaths, an increase of 486 cases and 4 deaths from the day before." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

(12/18 11:00 a.m.) Mission Hospital in Asheville administered its first COVID-19 vaccines Friday morning.  Registered nurses Mattew Kohberger and Danielle Cardona, both of whom work in the hospital's COVID unit, were the first two workers to receive it.  The first physician to get the vaccine was Dr. Worku Wondafrash.  In a press release, Mission says it will continue with vaccinations through the weekend at its other hospitals throughout Western North Carolina.

(12/17 4 p.m.) COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out across the Western North Carolina. The focus of the first round is high risk healthcare workers.  Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville started vaccinating employees on Tuesday and  Cherokee Indian Hospital on Wednesday.  Mission Health expects to give its first vaccines on Friday.  All three recived  the Pfizer vaccine.  Buncombe County heath officials announced on Thursday that they expect to receive a shipment of the Moderna vaccine with plans to start vaccinating employees next week.  

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(12/17 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 457,660 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 5,786 from the day before.  2,804 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 7 from the day before.  6,065 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 86 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 21,378 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 387 deaths, an increase of 367 cases and 10 deaths from the day before.

(12/17 11:30 a.m.) The Henderson County Department of Public Health says it has identified 75 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 following a holiday celebration event at First Baptist Church in Hendersonville.  It took place over the December 5th weekend.  The health department says it is looking identify additional close contacts of the individuals who tested positive.  Close contact is defined as being within approximately six feet of an infected person for a cumulative 15 minutes." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

(12/16 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 451,874 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 5,272 from the day before.  2,811 people are currently hospitalized (a new high), an increase of 76 from the day before.  5,979 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 98 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 21,011 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 377 deaths, an increase of 301 cases and 4 deaths from the day before.

(12/15 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 446,601 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 5,236 from the day before.  2,735 people are currently hospitalized (a new high), an increase of 182 from the day before.  5,881 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 36 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 20,710 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 373 deaths, an increase of 361 cases and 1 death from the day before." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

(12/15 9:20 a.m.) Eleven employees and 26 residents at the Morningstar Assisted Living in Sylva have tested positive for COVID-19. This is the fourth outbreak at as assisted living facility in Jackson County since November, according to the local health department. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services lists the county as having a critical amount of community spread.

(12/14 3:30 p.m.) Fourteen people tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday in Cherokee County, according to the local health department. The county continues to be in the ‘red’ with critical community spread. Erlanger Health System – including Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital in Murphy - announced that visitors will no longer be allowed with limited exceptions. Of the 14 positive cases, eight have no known source of transmission; one is a contact to a positive in Tennessee; and five are contacts to previously reported cases. Thirteen people have developed symptoms; two are hospitalized and all are isolated.

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(12/14 3:05 p.m.) Two more officers in Buncombe County detention facility have tested positive with COVID-19, bringin the total number to six positives among officers over the past week. A press release states that one detainee housed at the facility has also tested positive. All detainees and staff in the same housing unit will now be tested for COVID-19. As a proactive step the department says all detainees and staff on the housing unit will now be tested for the virus. 

(12/14 3 p.m.)In three days Haywood County had 107 new cases of COVID-19, according to Haywood County Public Health on December 11th. Outbreaks continue in long term care facilities throughout Haywood County, and there have been seven additional COVID-19 deaths attributable to these outbreaks since Tuesday, December 8th.

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(12/14 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 441,365 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 4,770 from the day before.  2,553 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 33 from the day before.  5,855 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 32 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 20,349 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 372 deaths, an increase of 261 cases and 0 deaths from the day before

(12/14 9:00 a.m.)  The new 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew kicked in this weekend across North Carolina - except on the Qualla boundary.  The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opted not to follow the mandate.  Principal Chief Richard Sneed wrote in a statement on Facebook that he is working with tribal public health officials to enact social distancing measures to protect tribal citizens and visitors. The executive order announced by Governor Roy Cooper last week, sets a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew for residents and most businesses.   Grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations will be allowed to operate within the seven-hour window.  Under the order which will remain in effect until January 8th, on-site alcohol sales at bars must end by 9 p.m.