SOUTHEASTERN N.C. (WECT) – After months of fighting the spread of the coronavirus, the country as a whole is seeing a drop in cases. But here in North Carolina, there has been a recent rise in cases.
“Were having a lot more individuals seek testing so we’ve had like 80s — in the range of 80 individuals — pull in the parking lot where we might have seen 30 or 40 so we’re testing double the amount in the last week,” said Cassaundra Hefner, a Nurse Practitioner at Novant Health Oceanside Family Medicine & Convenient Care in Shallotte.
Hefner has been on the front lines since the coronavirus first came to the cape fear. She says a big contribute to the spike in cases is gatherings. Hefner says those who have come to get tested attended large gatherings – funerals, birthday parties.
She also says a lot of people visiting from out of town have been testing positive, which plays a role in our local numbers here.
“A lot of our individuals are from out of town and out of state so the numbers that you see, when you see Mecklenburg county and Brunswick county, they might be skewed, not really skewed… They’re still accurate numbers,” said Hefner. “But the positive tests I do today, the ones I have positive count for the county they live. So when they get a positive result it doesn’t show for Brunswick county. It may show wherever count they’re from. So where one county might look large, that might not mean where they were tested.”
These new cases were likely developed two weeks ago — that’s typically how long it takes someone to develop COVID-19 symptoms. Just over 14 days ago, Phase Two of reopening North Carolina began: bringing in more visitors to our area — as more businesses opened.
Lisa Brown, the Public Health Preparedness Coordinator for New Hanover County says it’s important not to forget that this virus still exists as we begin to go back to a more normal way of living life.
“Now we’re starting to enter that phase where we’re bringing back activity, we’re interacting more,” said Brown. “So it’s going to be really critical that we continue the same measures that we’ve talked about this whole time and add that face covering piece when you’re out in public. That’s really what’s going to help us all kind of move forward as we are interacting more and we’re giving the virus more opportunity to spread. That’s how we disrupt it.”
To see the latest numbers where you live, click here.
Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.