Online Originals: Rural communities seeing rapid growth in COVID-19 cases; Onslow County weighs in

Online Originals

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) Onslow County is listed as a “red zone” county in the latest COVID-19 White House Task Force State report.

Since September, new COVID-19 cases have been increasing faster in rural counties, according to another new report by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. 

The report, which looks at data since the start of the pandemic, found that since September 2020: 

  • Nearly twice as many new cases have been reported from rural counties compared to urban or suburban counties.
  • The majority of cases in rural counties are increasingly white, non-Hispanic as compared with previous months. 
  • COVID-19 related deaths in rural counties also increased significantly, and account for the majority of deaths statewide compared with deaths in urban and suburban counties. 
  • Among deaths in rural counties, deaths among white, non-Hispanic and Black/African American cases have increased over time.
  • The majority of COVID-19 cases in rural communities are in people 49 years and younger.
  • The increase is being driven by community spread, not congregate living settings like nursing homes or jails.

WATCH: NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. describes trends in rural counties.

The report can also be accessed here.

The Onslow County Health Department is echoing what the state is recommending to slow the spread of COVID-19 by practicing the 3Ws: Wearing a face mask whenever they are with others that do not live in their household, waiting 6 feet apart and avoiding crowds, and washing hands often. 

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