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COVID-19 claims another resident, cases increase
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COVID-19 claims another resident, cases increase

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Another Burke County resident has died due to COVID-19, and the county added new positive cases to its virus count.

Burke County Public Health said it was notified Thursday of the 22nd COVID- 19 death. The person who died was in their 40s and was not hospitalized, but died from COVID-associated complications, the county briefing said.

Burke County also reported a total of 1,288 positive cases Thursday, up from 1,280 positive cases Wednesday.

The county’s COVID-19 dashboard is reporting that of the total positive cases, 973 have recovered. It also is reporting that four people are hospitalized due to the virus.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported a total of 1,588 deaths throughout the state and 93,426 positive cases Thursday. It reported 1,134 people are hospitalized in the state.

Burke County Health Director Rebecca McLeod said as the virus continues to spread within the community, she continues to encourage people to routinely practice the three W’s to reduce the spread of the infection: Wear a cloth face covering when out in public and cannot physically distance from others; Wait at least 6 feet from others; and Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.

“It is also imperative for those testing positive to STAY AT HOME until your isolation time has been completed,” McLeod said in the county briefing.

More and more retailers have announced nationwide requirements for customers to wear face masks when visiting a store. Walmart and Sam’s Club mask requirements start Monday. Others that will require masks are CVS, Target, Kohl’s, Walgreens and Publix, according to a list from USA Today. Some other retailers who already requires masks are Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Starbucks and Best Buy, according to USA Today.

The Burke County Health Department said High Country Community Health will host a first-come, first-served COVID-19 drive-thru testing clinic from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday at 301 E. Meeting St., Morganton. The testing clinic is especially for the Spanish-speaking community, the briefing said. Those wanting a test should stay in their car for the testing.

The Burke County Health Department said for residents who have been in close contact (which is defined as less than 6 feet away from someone COVID-19 positive for more than 10 to 30 minutes without a face covering), it is better to wait four to seven days from exposure before getting tested so the test results are more accurate.

“If you go to get tested too soon the test result could be inaccurate,” a briefing from the county said.

NCDHHS has said that people who may not currently have symptoms but may have been exposed to COVID-19 should get tested, especially people from historically marginalized communities, including Latinx/Hispanic, Black/African American, and American Indian populations.

The department said testing is a priority for anyone who has symptoms or those who may have been exposed to COVID-19, including:

» Anyone who has attended a mass gathering, including a protest.

» Anyone who works in a setting at higher risk of exposure such as a grocery store, restaurant, gas station or child care program.

» People who live or work in high-risk settings such as long-term facilities, homeless shelters, correctional facilities or food processing facility.

For more information on the testing clinic, contact El Centro de Trabajadores: Bacilio at 828-432-5080 or Gregoria at 828-604-0016.

For answers to further questions or for more information, call the Burke County Public Information Line at 828-764-9168, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

After hours, weekends and holidays, leave a message and your call will be answered as soon as staff returns. Or visit the Burke County COVID-19 webpage at

Para español llame al 828-764-9150 y presione el número dos. Si nadie contesta deje un corto mensaje con su nombre y numero de teléfono.

Sharon McBrayer can be reached at or at 828-432-8946.

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