Caldwell County Has Worst Day of Pandemic

One death; 166 cases; cluster among UNC Caldwell Emergency Department staff and Koinonia Apartments; Outbreak at Grandview Villa just part of the day’s news

Correction from the Caldwell County Health Department on 12/16/20: “Yesterday, Koinonia Apartments was incorrectly reported as an outbreak. It should have been reported as a cluster.” The headline has been changed to reflect that correction.

LENOIR, N.C — Caldwell County experienced its worst day of the Pandemic yesterday, according to a news release from the Caldwell County Health Department. The release follows.

Today, Caldwell County experienced its busiest day since the pandemic began. A record-number of cases and hospitalizations were reported as well as another COVID-19-related death, two outbreaks, and a cluster.

“Today’s report demonstrates the need for all of us to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Caldwell County Public Health Director Anna Martin. “I urge everyone to follow the 3 Ws — wear, wash, wait — and to stay home if you are sick.”

One hundred sixty-six cases were reported today —  93 in the 28645 Zip code, 38 in 28630, 32 in 28638, two in 28601, and one is 28605. Twenty-five patients are under the age of 17; 18 are between 18 and 24; 57 are between 25 and 49; 34 patients are between 50 and 64; 19 patients are between 65 and 74; and 13 patients are over the age of 75.

Forty-three Caldwell County COVID-19 patients were hospitalized. Twenty-six patients are at UNC Caldwell and the remaining are at hospitals around the region.

The county also confirmed its 54th COVID-19-related death. The patient was over the age of 75; had been hospitalized; and was reported to have underlying health conditions.

Today’s report demonstrates the need for all of us to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19.” — Caldwell County Public Health Director Anna Martin.

A cluster was identified in the emergency department at UNC Caldwell. The hospital released the following statement:

“Five members of our emergency department team have tested positive for COVID-19. We extend our prayers for the health and recovery of these important front line health care workers. Caldwell UNC Healthcare continues to consistently follow CDC guidelines for the appropriate use of personal protective equipment. And, we continue to screen all employees daily and to follow CDC guidelines for quarantine following exposures.  Our community is experiencing a surge in positive cases at this time and community exposure to the virus is prevalent. We urge the public to continue to wear face masks, socially distance and wash your hands regularly.”  

Outbreaks were reported at Koinonia Apartments and Grandview Villa. At Koinonia, six residents tested positive, and at Grandview Villa, one resident and one staff member are positive. In congregate living settings, an outbreak of COVID-19 is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases within a 28-day period.

For more information about Coronavirus, visit or call the Emergency Operations Center at 828-426-8605. For statistical information, visit

To learn about North Carolina’s plan for distributing Covid vaccines, visit here.

Because we do not generally cover breaking news, but instead focus on features and enterprise reporting, for the most consistent news coverage about the pandemic in Caldwell County, visit the Caldwell Journal. Mark Jackson is posting all updates from the Caldwell County Health Department and is also providing information on schools. The dashboards are easy to read and good quick references to understand the current state of the Coronavirus in Caldwell County.

Feature (home page) Photo by Kevin Grieve on Unsplash