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Update: Five additional McDowell residents test positive, another person dies of COVID-19
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Update: Five additional McDowell residents test positive, another person dies of COVID-19

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Update: Five additional McDowell residents test positive, another person dies of COVID-19

The McDowell County Health Department said five additional McDowell County residents have tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and another person has died.

“We continue to see a decline in the amount of people getting tested for COVID-19,” said Public Health Director Karen Powell. “Please consider being tested if you are symptomatic or have been exposed to COVID-19. Testing at the Health Department is free, is a drive thru set up and there is typically a very short wait time."

This brought the total number of positives to 830 in McDowell County. There have been 11,970 people tested, 10,908 negative results and 232 tests are pending results. Presently, there are 49 individuals in quarantine, 754 out of quarantine and 27 deaths, according to a news release.

Health officials are continuing to assist and monitor the outbreak at Cedarbrook Residential Center in Nebo. Two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. No residents have tested positive at this time. Public Health and Emergency Management are working closely with the facility and continue to test all staff and residents weekly and to take further mitigation actions to prevent the spread of the virus.

The situation at Deer Park Health and Rehab has stabilized and is being monitored closely by Public Health and the Emergency Operations Center. As of Friday morning, a total of 37 residents and 31 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. Fourteen residents at Deer Park have died due to COVID-19. A total of 23 residents have recovered since testing positive for COVID-19, according to the news release.

Newly reported COVID-19 cases in North Carolina declined by about 12% in the first two weeks of September, compared to the last 14 days in August, when college students returning to campuses contributed to case spikes, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported Monday.

North Carolina reported 845 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases Monday, bringing the total in the state to 185,781 since March. The official total is likely an undercount because testing was rationed early in the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the state continues to see the percentage of positive tests hover around 5%. Levels of 5% positive and lower for 14 days are an indication that there's enough testing in a state to control viral spread, The New York Times reported.

About 4.8% of coronavirus tests were positive Saturday, the most recent date available, DHHS reported.

But the DHHS says information on its data dashboard is preliminary and subject to change. Data is regularly updated days after it is reported.

The local Health Department is working diligently to get in touch with all contacts of positives to offer testing. 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. to 8 p.m, 7 days per week. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms of COVID-19.

To view McDowell County’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard, go to:

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

• McDowell County Health Department; Friday, Sept. 18, from 9-11 a.m.

• McDowell County Health Department; Monday, Sept. 21, from 9-11 a.m.

Tribune News Service contributed to this story.

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