Online Originals: Onslow County COVID-19 positivity rate surpasses state, classified as a ‘red’ county

Online Originals

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Onslow County has surpassed the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate, county officials reported Tuesday morning.

The county reported a 11.2% positivity rate while the state reported a 9.7% positivity rate. Per the latest statewide map provided by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Onslow County is considered ‘red’ meaning it has a critical COVID-19 spread.

Courtesy: NCDHHS

Currently, Onslow is the only county in the east with critical spread of COVID-19.

Courtesy: Onslow County Health Department

Officials also reported Monday that two additional deaths did occur in the county, one being under the age of 65. Over the weekend, 307 more positive tests were also reported.   

“We are having a significant number of testing in our communities so we do not think this is a skewed number,” County Manager Sharon Russell said. “We do think that the rate of infection is going up.”

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“When you see an escalation of numbers that much, it’s not attributed to how many people are being tested,” Onslow County Commissioner Robin Knapp said. “It’s a sign that coronavirus is moving rapidly and affecting people that don’t know they are infected, and it’s just progressing.”  

Knapp posts COVID-19 updates for the community three times a week. He told 9OYS during the commissioners’ meeting Monday night that no further restrictions other than the executive order were talked about.

Knapp does say the numbers are alarming and the community needs to be aware.

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Onslow County’s COVID-19 positivity rate has increased more than 1% since Wednesday.

The latest numbers from the state’s COVID-19 dashboard show Onslow County has …

  • 5,678 positive COVID-19 cases
  • 5,256 cleared individuals
  • 45 fatalities
  • 10.1% of individuals resulting in a positive test

On Wednesday, the county reported a 8.8% positivity rate in the county. Now the county has the same number as the state’s 10.1% COVID-19 positivity rate.

“Onslow County right now is number eight in the state for the seven-day average of case count,” Onslow County Health Director Kristen Richmond-Hoover said in a Facebook Live update. “While we are number 13 for population, we are experiencing higher case count volumes than what our population ranks us as.”

The county COVID-19 case count is ranked by one being the county with the highest volume of case count and 100 being the county with the lowest case count.

Chelsea Blackburn with Onslow Memorial Hospital was also included in the Onslow County Facebook Live COVID-19 update. She said the hospital is experiencing a double spike in admitted COVID-19 patients, compared to what the hospital saw in July.

As of 9 a.m. Friday, the hospital has 24 COVID-19 patients admitted. Health officials are asking the community to get a flu shot and practice the 3 W’s.

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Health officials in Onslow County say they are concerned with the rise in recent COVID-19 case numbers.

Onslow County is reporting an increase of 173 COVID-19 cases from Monday to Wednesday.

That brings that county’s positivity rate up to 8.8% with “significant number of additional positive cases yet to be corroborated at this time,” according to County Commissioner Robin Knapp via a Facebook post Wednesday.

“We are concerned and we expect to see some changes here soon,” said Victoria Reyes, public information officer with the Onslow County Health Department.

Reyes says the department is asking the community to wear a mask and to wear it correctly.

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Health officials are also asking the community to not travel for the holiday and only celebrate with your immediate household.

“We let our guard down with family and friends … we aren’t wearing our face coverings and were not staying socially distant,” Reyes said.

In the last week, Onslow County government buildings have been closed to the public and meetings were canceled due to COVID-19 exposures.

“We are simply having to pull staff from other areas of our organization to assist our public health efforts right now because it is so work-intensive to have the number of cases we have at this time,” Onslow County Manager Sharon Russell said in a Facebook Live posted Wednesday.

Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller tells 9OYS that while deputies have an obligation to enforce the Governors most recent mandate, his office will not be giving out criminal citations.

Currently no additional restrictions have been set by Onslow County government.

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