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COVID-19 cases continue to rise in county
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COVID-19

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in county

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The Burke County Health Department said that the 12 news COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday raise the county's total to 1,977.

Burke County again saw a rise in COVID-19 cases Wednesday.

The county logged 12 new cases of the novel coronavirus, according to a media briefing from the Burke County Health Department. The new cases brought the county’s total up to 1,977 from 1,965 Tuesday.

The county’s online COVID-19 dashboard, which still was showing 1,966 total cases by press time Wednesday, said there were 1,686 recoveries from the virus with 11 people in the hospital. Thirty-three people in Burke County have died after contracting the virus.

Cases across the state also grew Wednesday.

The total number of cases for North Carolina were up to 158,985, with 2,606 deaths and 1,004 people hospitalized, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

Gov. Roy Cooper said at a news conference Wednesday that turnaround times for test results are quicker now, and the key metrics seem to be stabilizing.

He encouraged residents to continue following the three Ws: Wearing a cloth face covering over their mouth and nose, wash hands frequently with soap and water or using hand sanitizer and wait 6 feet apart from other people.

Cooper also presented his proposed budget adjustments for the 2020-21 fiscal year, including recommendations for distributing any remaining federal coronavirus relief funds.

In the proposal, Cooper recommended expanding Medicaid to cover more than 600,000 additional people; expanding unemployment benefits so the maximum amount of time covered would be 14 weeks with a maximum benefit of $500 per week; and paying a bonus to teachers.

Visit https://bit.ly/34CvQMe to read Cooper’s proposed budget.

Help with children

The Department of Health and Human Services has said families and caregivers in need of child care for children up to age 12 can call its hotline to be connected directly to child care options in their community. The hotline at 888-600-1685 is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Care is offered by licensed child care providers who meet Department of Health and Human Services guidelines.

For information, visit https://bit.ly/3gSC0Lk.

Local health officials also continue to encourage people to wear a mask when out in public, to socially distance at least 6 feet away and use hand sanitizer or soap and water.

Local health officials urge those who have been tested for the virus to stay home until they get their test results back. The only exception is for people who are essential workers with no symptoms, in which case they can return to work as long as they wear a mask at all times, health officials say.

A drive-thru testing clinic is set for 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at 301 E. Meeting St. in Morganton on a first-come, first-served basis. The testing clinic is meant especially for the Spanish-speaking community but all are welcome, according to the release from the Health Department.

Those going to the event are asked to stay in their cars for the testing. For information, contact El Centro de Trabajadores by calling Bcailio at 828-432-5080 or Gregoria at 828-604-0016.

To make an appointment for COVID-19 testing, call 828-764-9150. For questions about the virus, call the county’s public information line at 828-764-9168.

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

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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