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Thursday update: 10 additional coronavirus cases in McDowell. Total known positives: 273
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Thursday update: 10 additional coronavirus cases in McDowell. Total known positives: 273

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McDowell County saw another double-digit increase in coronavirus infections.

The McDowell County Health Department said Thursday 10 additional McDowell County residents tested positive per the latest results, bringing the known total to 273.

“We are seeing a continual increase of positive results in McDowell County. Transmission is not slowing down and the risk of contracting COVID-19 is as high, if not higher than ever," said Public Health Director Karen Powell. "Wearing a face covering is critical. It can reduce your risk of transmission and protect others as well. I can’t stress the importance of face coverings enough. It can save your life as well as your loved ones. It can help us to lower the numbers and stop transmission. Always wash your hands, use hand sanitizer and avoid touching your face."

As of noon Thursday, the N.C. Department of Health and Humans Services reported lab-confirmed cases 79,349 across the state. That's a one-day increase of 2,039 new confirmed infections since Wednesday. (The state's highest one-day increase in new cases was reported July 3 with 2,099.)

Nine percent of total tests Wednesday were positive. On Monday, the state reported 55,318 residents are presumed to have recovered from symptoms. This number will be updated by the state each Monday afternoon.

Public Health officials and the McDowell County Emergency Operations Center are monitoring trends of transmission. By tracking these trends and data, conclusions can be made that transmission continues to be in gatherings of 10 or more people where social distancing is not practiced, households where multiple people reside and widespread community transmission. Public health staff are aggressively investigating and tracing all contacts to positives. To protect individual privacy, no further information about the cases will be released.

There have been 4,993 people tested, 4,398 negative results and 322 tests are pending results. Presently, there are 86 individuals in quarantine, 185 out of quarantine and two deaths.

If an individual would like to be tested, they can call the hotline at (828) 527- 6687. The operator will ask a list of questions and will provide the caller with the appropriate instructions based upon the answers given. The hours of operation for this hotline are 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., seven days per week. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Citizens can utilize an online COVID-19 screening tool by going to https://mcdowell.clearstep.health/ and completing the assessment. Additional statistics related to COVID-19 testing in McDowell County can be found by visiting http://www.mcdowellem.com/covid-19.html

Free COVID-19 testing will be conducted at the following locations via a drive-thru setup:

• McDowell County Health Department; Monday, July 13, 9-11 a.m.

• Grace Community Church; Wednesday, July 15 from 9 a.m.-noon, located at 5182 US 70 West in Marion

• McDowell County Health Department; Friday, July 17 from 9-11 a.m.

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