9/1/2021 5:20:00 PM COVID Cases Continue to Increase
Wayne Howard Reporter
Lincoln County's active number of COVID-19 cases increased from 463 a week ago to 496 in this Wednesday's (Sept. 1st) report. The county averaged 56.4 new cases each day for the last two weeks, up from 48.9 per day during the two weeks ending last Wednesday. Three more deaths related to the virus were reported, bringing the total to 93.
The only good news appears to be that the percentage of people who have been vaccinated is increasing. Statewide, 61% of all adults have now been fully vaccinated. That includes 41% of Lincoln County's population, 44% of Catawba County, 40% of Gaston and 39% of Cleveland.
Statewide, there were 7,248 new cases Wednesday. Since a week ago 317 more North Carolinians have died from the virus.
Catawba County's weekly report showed 602 new cases since last Wednesday--up from 398 in the previous week's report. Seven more deaths in Catawba County brought the total to 334.
The new cases in Lincoln County over the last 14 days were 31% among those under age 25...22% of them under age 18. 65% of the new cases were younger than 50; only 14% were over age 65.
SHADES OF LAST YEAR
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the postponement of the WNC Bigfoot Festival in Marion. The festival, canceled last year due to the COVID pandemic, was scheduled for Friday & Saturday, September 17th and 18th. It will now be held in May of next year according to a Wednesday morning annoucement.
Salisbury has canceled its Cheerwine Festival originally scheduled for Saturday September 18th, according to a release Monday.
Hickory also canceled its Oktoberfest again this year; and the Blumenthal Performing Arts and Charlotte Center City Partners postponed the Charlotte SHOUT! festival, previously scheduled to take place in Uptown Charlotte September 17th–October 3rd until a future date in 2022.
Actually, as bad as last year was, it's now much worse. At the end of August 2020, the US was reporting 41,600 cases of COVID daily. This year, it's four times as many. Over a hundred thousand people nationwide are hospitalized with the virus, 25% of those in ICUs. 1350 people nationwide are dying every day.
Lincoln County Schools switched from a 'masks optional' policy to 'masks required' before classes began on Aug. 23rd at the request of County Health Director Davin Madden. Gaston and Cleveland County Schools also decided to require masks, but in Catawba County, school began 'masks optional.' On Monday (Aug. 30th) the Catawba County School Board held an emergency session and reversed that policy effective Thursday (Sept. 2nd).
Lincoln County Schools had 37 cases of the virus during the first week of school. Gaston County Schools had over a hundred. Cleveland County Schools reported 83 positive cases among students and staff. Cleveland County closed North Shelby School and went to remote learning for those students after multiple cases there. In Iredell County, the year also began 'masks optional,' but that policy was changed this week. Iredell County Schools had five schools close and go to remote learning after multiple cases--in one school, 60% of the students were in quarantine. Lincoln Charter School, which began the year as 'masks optional' made the move to 'masks required' last week.
The city of Shelby has implemented a mask requirement for everyone entering a city govt. building regardless of vaccination status effective September 1st. Gaston County had already instituted a mask requirement for govt. buildings as had Mecklenburg.
CLICK HERE to see the Snapshot 31 report on the COVID-19 pandemic from the Lincoln County Health Dept.
We could show you the latest graphics from area hospitals showing that the percentage of people hospitalized, in intensive care units, and on ventilators is much greater among the unvaccinated, but why bother? Those who have already decided not to take the vaccines won't change their minds and those who got vaccinated are already better (although not entirely) protected from serious illness and death. If you don't have any N95 or KN95 masks, we urge you to get some--and wear them properly--for your own protection and that of others.