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Another 55 COVID-19 cases added to county total
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Coronavirus

Another 55 COVID-19 cases added to county total

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The addition of 55 new cases of COVID-19 brings Burke County total to 3,678.

It doesn’t look like COVID-19 is going anywhere in Burke County, with 55 new cases of the virus reported Wednesday.

The new cases brought the county’s total to 3,678 cases, according to a media briefing from the Burke County Health Department.

Recoveries held steady at 2,980 Wednesday, with active cases hitting 603, according to the county’s online COVID-19 dashboard. Another person was hospitalized, bringing the number of hospitalizations to 11.

The dashboard lags behind daily media briefings.

A COVID-19 cluster has been reported at another nursing home in Burke County.

Magnolia Lane Nursing and Rehabilitation Center reported four cases of COVID-19 in residents and three in staff members, according to a Tuesday report from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. No deaths were reported at the facility.

The state continues to report that Carolina Rehab of Burke in Icard has had 68 cases of the virus, infecting 46 residents and 22 staff members. Twelve residents have died from the virus.

However, the facility’s website said it has had 60 residents and 32 staff members infected with the virus since May 1. The site, which was updated Friday, said there were no current cases at the facility.

Other outbreaks continue to be reported at:

  • College Pines Health and Rehabilitation in Rutherford College: 115 cases (75 residents and 40 staff members). The facility has had 12 residents die from the virus.
  • The Berkeley — Assisted Living & Memory Care: Four cases (one resident and three staff members). One resident has died from the virus.
  • Cambridge House in Hildebran: Nine cases (eight residents and one staff member).
  • J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center: 50 cases (10 residents and 40 staff members).

The current limit for indoor gatherings is 10 people, as cases of the virus continue to rise across the state.

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The Department of Health and Human Services reported Wednesday that there were 320,862 cases of COVID-19 across the state, with 1,537 hospitalizations, 4,898 deaths and a 9.2% daily positive rate.

Holiday precautions

Thanksgiving is just a week away, and health officials are encouraging the public to avoid large group gatherings.

State health officials have advised anyone who plans to travel or gather for Thanksgiving to have a COVID-19 test three to four days ahead of time. A screening test can help someone know if they have COVID-19 even if they do not have yet have symptoms, but the tests can miss some infections.

Screening tests are available at state-funded community testing events. People should call ahead to other testing sites to see if they offer screening tests at their locations. Community testing events and other testing sites are listed online at ncdhhs.gov/testingplace.

Gathering in large groups for the traditional Black Friday shopping tradition is ill advised, the Department of Health and Human Services' guidance said.

According to the release, any large gathering of people poses an increased risk for spreading COVID-19. People at high risk for COVID-19 complications should limit in-person shopping. People who have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19, have COVID-19-like symptoms or who have been exposed to COVID-19 should not shop in person until their isolation or quarantine period is over.

People who do shop in person should follow the three W's: Wear a mask, wait 6 feet away from others and wash hands frequently with soap and water or using hand sanitizer. They also should remember that stores are limited to 50% capacity, the release said.

Knowing there are some who won’t follow the gathering restrictions, Burke County has issued a plea to residents in its recent media briefings.

“If you are going to have a small gathering regardless of the recommendations, please make sure that people wear their face coverings while inside and that everyone physically distances themselves more than 6 feet away from others,” said the county’s media briefing Tuesday.

To make an appointment for COVID-19 testing at the Burke County Health Department, call 828-764-9150. The Health Department also reminds residents to make sure they give the name on their birth certificate and their address so that positive test results are correctly attributed to the county.

For questions about the virus, call the county’s public information line at 828-764-9168.

Chrissy Murphy is a staff writer and can be reached at cmurphy@morganton.com or at 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.

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