The county’s COVID death toll rose to 73 this week, with the latest victim dying at home Nov. 27.
In today’s twice-weekly report, the county reported an additional 58 cases since Nov. 30. The total number of cases here stands at 2,875, with 1,962 recoveries. Around 84o active cases are being monitored, including 11 people in area hospitals.
The health department reported that 37,200 tests had bene performed as of Thursday.
Free COVID-19 testing is available by appointment Friday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The rapid tests will be in a drive-thru format at the health department on Jefferson Street in Whiteville. There is no charge for the test, but appointments are required. Call 640.6615, extension 7006 or 7007 to make an appointment.
Health department director Kim Smith emphasized in Thursday’s release that community transmission is widespread in Columbus County. While the outbreak at Tabor Correctional and several extended care homes have had an impact on the numbers, community spread is still the primary source of local infection.
“The Columbus County Health Department is urging county residents to take the measures necessary to protect themselves, their families, and their community from COVID-19,” Smith said in a press release. “If you leave home, practice your Ws: Wear, Wait, Wash. Wear a mask over your nose and mouth. Wait six feet apart and avoid close contact. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.”