County says 51 new cases of COVID-19; no new fatalities

Rapid testing will be available by appointment Friday at the Health Department in Whiteville.

Breaking news update Aug. 13

Columbus County has 51 new cases of COVID-19 reported since Monday, according to the twice-weekly health department report, bringing the total number in the county to 959. 

Of those, 743 people have recovered, 48 have died, and six remain hospitalized, according to the health department.

Health Department spokesman Daniel Buck said the county will provide an updated breakdown of demographics in its reports next week.

Approximately 10,665 tests have been completed in the county.

In a COVID-19 briefing this afternoon, officials revealed that a testing firm reported more than 200,000 incorrect numbers. Gov. Roy Cooper and Sec. Mandy Cohen say error didn’t have effect on the true totals.

The newest local outbreaks include 15 cases Aug. 10; five on Aug. 11; 22 cases on Aug. 12; and nine cases Aug. 13 (today).

State officials announced Wednesday that Labcorp, one of the COVID-19 testing firms used by the N.C. Division of Health and Human Services, added 200,000 additional cases to its total of completed tests. DHHS said in a press release that the error was caused by a conflict between electronic and manual reporting, and did not affect the overall numbers of positive cases, test results to doctors and patients, or data used to determine trends. The state primarily uses electronic data to produce data used to determine the progress of the virus, and forecast trends in spread.

Cohen said the state still has full confidence in Labcorp. Cooper praised the company, which he said has a been a major partner with the state since the start of the pandemic.

 Cohen also cautiously noted that there has been some progress in slowing the spread of the virus in North Carolina, but she called that progress “fragile” and said more vigilance is required to keep people healthy.

“We’re looking at the start of flu season very soon,” she said. “That could make this virus even more dangerous, and it’s why we must emphasize the need for everyone to get a flu shot this fall.”

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About Jefferson Weaver 1877 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at jeffersonweaver@ColumbusCountyNews.com.