The most recent death from COVID0-19 in Columbus County brings the local toll to 60.
The Columbus County Health Department, in its regular Thursday report, said the individual died today (Oct. 22) in an area hospital.
Overall, the county reported an additional 41 cases today, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 1,644. Of those cases, 1,314 people have recovered, and 13 are hospitalized.
Gov. Roy Cooper earlier this week extended Phase Three of the recovery, keeping in place limits on bars, restaurants and gatherings. He also encouraged local governments to consider implementing civil fines against people who do not wear masks, and fining businesses that do not enforce mask requirements or report those without masks.
“We need everyone to do the right thing to stop the spread of the virus,” Cooper said in his press briefing.
Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the Division of Health and Human Services, noted a “super spreader” event that occurred in a Charlotte church recently, and hinted that churches and mass gatherings could be restricted again if state numbers do not come down.
In Bladen County, three schools have been closed due to COVID-19 cases, but in the Whiteville and Columbus systems, the superintendents report the situation is currently under control. Closures are not currently being considered here.
“We have been handling our situations of quarantine within the schools,” said Dr. Deanne Meadows, superintendent for the county schools. “They have been able to cover with staff or substitutes when we have a staff quarantine. We have not had enough cases or quarantines to warrant a discussion of closing any site.”
The city schools are also maintaining a strict sanitization regiment, and have so far managed to keep infections at a minimum in the Whiteville schools.
“We are almost two weeks without a positive confirmed COVID-19 case,” City Superintendent Dr. Marc Whichard said in an email. “We are doing well.”