The COVID-19 pandemic is getting worse--not better. The number of active cases increased in 40 states this week. In North Carolina, Friday (July 3rd) set new records for new cases--2,099--and people hospitalized due to COVID-19--951.
70,563 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in North Carolina since March.
Not only did 40 states see an increase in active cases, 36 states saw an increase in the percentage of tests coming back positive for the virus. With the number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide climbing past 50,000, four states: Arizona, California, Florida and Texas — reported a combined 25,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday.
Mandatory mask requirements now exist in North Carolina, California, Nevada, Rhode Island, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, New Mexico, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Washington. Other states have rules in place requiring people to wear masks in certain situations, and in some states (like South Carolina) towns & cities have local mandatory mask ordinances.
While many have complained about Lincolnton Police citing one local business for not abiding by the Governor's order requiring employees to wear masks, in Texas, a half-dozen counties now have ordinances that if violated could cost a business up to a $1,000 fine. In Los Angeles and other California cities, fines may be levied against individuals who refuse to wear a mask unless they can produce a doctor's statement showing a medical reason they shouldn't wear one.
If you're planning on visiting the Grand Strand, better take your mask. Myrtle Beach & North Myrtle Beach both require you wear one in most public places until Labor Day. There are some exceptions, but for the most part, any person or business that fails to wear a face mask in certain areas can face a fine up to $100. If a business fails to require employees to wear a face mask then it can be declared a public nuisance and have its business license suspended or revoked.
Savannah, Georgia, also has a mandatory mask ordinance.
Lincoln County's number of active COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday (July 1st) was 74. No new report will be released until late Monday afternoon (July 6th).
Gaston County's active case count increased to over 400 again on Friday. The latest report from the Health Dept. shows 443 active cases there; 13 people have died from the disease and 750 are said to have recovered.
Cleveland County has had another resident die from COVID-19 bringing that county's death toll to five. There are currently 75 active cases in Cleveland County, where 252 have recovered. Eight people were hospitalized on Friday.
After a record 56 new cases on Thursday, Catawba County reported 29 new cases on Friday. The county's active case count is now 479. 14 have died and 14 remain hospitalized. 434 have recovered. [27 new cases reported on Saturday brought Catawba County's number of active cases to over 500 for the first time--506 people with active cases as of Saturday.]
Mecklenburg County has now surpassed the 12,000 mark in total positive tests. 155 people have died related to COVID-19 in that county.
At least 19 states have now paused or cut back on their reopening plans. In California, all indoor establishments, including restaurants, movie theaters, and bars in counties where case counts are rising will have to close for at least three weeks. Texas Governor Greg Abbott paused any further phases of reopening. He also ordered Texas bars, which had reopened, to close again; and restaurants to reduce to 50% occupancy. Florida's governor said he is "not going back" on reopening, but several cities and counties closed their beaches for the July 4th holiday weekend. In Colorado, bars will now be closed for 30 days.
Worldwide, over a half million people have died; 132 thousand in the US.