Caldwell Has Disturbing COVID-19 Trends

COVID-19 cases near 600 for the week; four clusters, including an EMS shift; six outbreaks, and alarming rises in cases and hospitalizations; but, healthcare workers getting first vaccines

LENOIR, N.C. — Caldwell County has experienced its worst week of the pandemic, according to the Caldwell County Health Department. According to the statement, “This week, 568 positive cases have been reported. This marks the highest weekly total of positive cases since the pandemic began.”

It also shared good news, reporting, “Health care workers at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 have already started receiving vaccines. As more vaccines become available, more hospitals and local health departments will vaccinate high-risk health care workers. Long-term care residents are also one of the first groups who will receive a vaccine.”

It noted also, “The state hopes by early 2021, health departments and community health centers will start vaccinating other adults with two or more chronic conditions that make them higher risk for getting COVID-19.”

Meanwhile a dashboard of COVID-19 data in the county points to some alarming trends. There are presently more than 2,000 active cases in the county and more than 40 people were admitted to hospitals for four straight days this past week due to COVID-19.

Clusters included an EMS shift, Koinonia Apartments, North Catawba Fire Department, and the UNC Emergency Department. According to the health department, “In workplaces, schools, churches, and other settings, a cluster is defined as 5 or more cases with illness onset or initial positive results within a 14-day period and a plausible epidemiological link.”

Outbreaks were reported at Brookdale, Gateway Rehabilitation and Healthcare, Grandview Villa, Lenoir Healthcare, Shaire Center Assisted Living Facility, and Shaire Center Skilled Nursing Facility. According to the health department, “In congregate living settings, an outbreak of COVID-19 is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases within a 28-day period.”

People aged 25 to 49 account for the highest plurality of cases — 35.2 percent. In December to date, the average number of people infected daily has averaged about 80. That is double the closest previous month — August.

To date, 57 families in Caldwell County are grieving the death of their loved ones due to COVID-19. Additionally, the family and friends of an additional 4,904 residents who have had COVID-19 are dealing with emotional distress, financial hardships, healthcare concerns, and all the challenges associated with isolation and quarantine.

To see the entire dashboard, visit here. For more information about Coronavirus, visit www.caldwellcountync.org/coronavirus-covid-19 or call the Emergency Operations Center at 828-426-8605. For statistical information, visit www.caldwellcountync.org/coronavirus-covid-19/dashboard.

© The Lenoir Voice, 2020. Vaccine photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash; ‘Mask it or Casket’ a courtesy submission.