Six months since COVID restrictions began

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – It’s been six months since North Carolina officials started locking down the state due to the coronavirus. It was their effort to slow the virus’ spread.

Since March, there have been more than 2,200 positive COVID cases in Onslow County. Data shows most are in the 25 to 49 age group, working adults. The virus has killed 25 people in the area.

“Any single case and any single death is too many and they all worry us, and they all get our
attention…in the bigger paradigms, Onslow Co. is doing really well,” said Kristen Richmond-Hoover, the county’s public health department.

Richmond-Hoover says Onslow County’s seen fewer positive cases than other surrounding counties with similar populations.

Their biggest challenge has been getting people to follow safety measures, like wearing masks and social distancing.

“You know in a lot of ways we’re tired of wearing the masks. These are things we know will
help us, continue to navigate through the COVID event but will also give us some protection as we enter into the flu season,” said Richmond-Hoover.

Health officials don’t know when a COVID vaccine will be available. But they’re preparing to offer public immunizations when it is. They’re also encouraging flu shots ahead of that virus season.

In Craven County, positive COVID cases total to more than 1,600 and 39 deaths.

“If you look at the death rate in the U.S. it’s about 62 people per 100,000 and in N.C. we’re about 33 per 100,000 so statically comparatively we’re doing pretty good here,” said Scott Harrelson, the county’s public health director.

Officials credit testing for keeping numbers down. There’s more of it and results are coming faster than they did six months ago.

“We had six to seven days to get test results….so now it’s about two days to get results,” said Harrelson.

Craven County’s biggest challenge? The work load.

Harrelson said, “you still have to run all of your normal clinics and then COVID.”

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