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Five more COVID-19 deaths reported Tuesday in McDowell
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Five more COVID-19 deaths reported Tuesday in McDowell

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From the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

On Tuesday, the McDowell County Health Department reported 43 additional McDowell County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and five more people have died.

This brings the total number of positives to 7,848 in McDowell County since the pandemic began. There have been 58,385 tests conducted, 50,217 negative results and 320 tests are pending results. At the time of Tuesday’s report, there were 528 individuals in quarantine, 7,210 out of quarantine and 110 deaths. McDowell County’s 14-day positivity rate is 24.1%, according to a news release.

Statewide numbers as reported by The News & Observer of Raleigh:

Nearly 1 in 5 North Carolinians hospitalized with COVID-19 are on a ventilator as of Tuesday, state data show.

Among the 3,464 COVID-19 hospital patients statewide as of Tuesday, 19% are being treated on ventilators, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

The rate has been increasing from 11% since mid-July, when the delta variant first started to surge. Delta is a mutation of the coronavirus that's more than twice as contagious as the original strain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nearly 98% of sequenced virus in North Carolina is delta, the latest CDC data show.

About 26%, or 908 total, of all COVID patients statewide are being treated in intensive care units.

That's down from a pandemic peak of 955 reported in late August, but a dramatic increase over the last two months. In mid-July there were 122 ICU patients statewide with COVID-19.

Among all patients hospitalized currently, 1.3% are younger than 18. That rate peaked at 2.1% on July 18.

The COVID-19 vaccines are best protection against severe disease, state data show.

A DHHS analysis from late August concluded that those unvaccinated are more than four times as likely to catch COVID-19 and 15 times more likely to die due to the disease, The News & Observer reported.

Local information:

McDowell County’s COVID-19 data dashboard is updated daily (Monday-Friday) and can be found by visiting www.mcdowellem.com or www.mcdowellem.com/covid-19-information.html.

COVID-19 outbreak and cluster information:

Emergency Services and Public Health staff continue to offer assistance and logistical support to facilities that are experiencing current outbreaks of COVID-19. Outbreaks are defined by DHHS as two or more cases of COVID-19 in a congregate living facility within 28 days. Clusters are defined by DHHS as a minimum of five confirmed diagnostic cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiologic linkage between cases.

The current outbreaks and clusters in McDowell County are:

Outbreaks

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• Autumn Care of Marion: a total of seven staff members and 10 residents have tested positive.

• Deer Park Health & Rehabilitation: a total of 13 staff members and four residents have tested positive.

• McDowell Assisted Living: a total of five staff members and 20 residents have tested positive.

• McDowell County Detention Center: a total of three staff members and 16 inmates have tested positive. Three staff members and 16 inmates have recovered from COVID-19.

• Cedarbrook Residential Center: a total of five staff members have tested positive.

Clusters

• Old Fort Elementary School: a total of nine students and two staff

• McDowell High School Cluster 1: a total of 11 students

• McDowell High School Cluster 2: a total of six students

• West McDowell Middle School: a total of five students

• West Marion Elementary School: a total of five students

COVID-19 testing information:

• Andor Labs is offering free COVID-19 testing Tuesday from 3-6 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday from 3-6 p.m. and Friday from 3-5 p.m. in the old Bank of America parking lot at 120 N. Main St. in Marion.

• Other COVID-19 testing locations include primary care physician offices, local urgent care clinics, The Prescription Pad of Marion and CVS pharmacy. If you cannot afford a COVID-19 test, you can call the McDowell County Health Department at 828-652-6811.

COVID-19 vaccine information:

The COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center (828-803-4552) is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, seven days a week. Please call the hotline if you have questions or would like to set up an appointment to get your vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is free and there are multiple vaccine locations around our county to choose from including McDowell County Health Department, Ingles, Walmart, CVS, Atrium Health Physician Practices, The Prescription Pad of Marion and McDowell Family Pharmacy in Old Fort. First-dose vaccine appointments can also be booked online by visiting www.myspot.nc.gov. Homebound citizens who want the vaccine but are unable to reach a vaccination site are encouraged to contact the Vaccine Call Center (828-803-4552) to have the vaccine delivered and administered at their home.

Upcoming public health COVID-19 vaccination clinics:

• Wednesday, Sept. 22, from 9-11:45 a.m. at the McDowell County Health Department.

• Friday, Sept. 24, from noon to 2 p.m. at the McDowell County Health Department.

• Third-dose clinic for immunocompromised individuals: call 828-803-4552 to make an appointment.

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