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COVID-19 Blog | 9 South Graham Elementary staffers test positive for coronavirus

The school district says South Graham Elementary School will resume normal operations after Thanksgiving break.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Get the latest COVID-19 updates from Gov. Roy Cooper and the state task force, health departments, universities, school districts, and more in this story. We'll put North Carolina's COVID-19 numbers in context for you, and explain what it could mean for the reopening process. Call the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 866-462-3821 or 2-1-1 for immediate questions. 

Latest North Carolina COVID-19 numbers: (Friday, Nov. 27, 2020)

  • New cases: 3,834
  • Single-day case record: 4,514 (Nov. 22)
  • Total cases: 354,514
  • Total deaths: 5,210
  • Hospitalizations: 1,780
  • Average testing turnaround: 2.7 days
  • Percent of positive tests: 7.3% (as of 11/25)

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2020

1:00 p.m. -- Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page is in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19, a sheriff's office spokesperson confirmed with WFMY News 2 on Friday. We're told Page is doing OK and is able to work from home. One of his family members also tested positive for the virus. 

RELATED: Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page tests positive for COVID-19, spokesperson says

12:30 p.m. -- A coronavirus cluster has been identified at South Graham Elementary School in Graham, according to Alamance County Public Health officials. Nine cases have been confirmed and all are staff members at the school. Alamance-Burlington School System officials say the school is closed for Thanksgiving break but will resume normal operations after the break. District officials say the places where the staff members were inside the school have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2020

12 p.m. -- NCDHHS released the latest COVID-19 data on Wednesday and North Carolina once again hit another record for hospitalizations for the second day in a row. 

Older adults, ages 70-79 account for 25% of all statewide hospitalizations, even though the majority of the state's COVID-19 cases aren't coming from this age group. 

Adults ages 29-49 account for the majority of COVID-19 cases with 40% of total cases in North Carolina, but most don't end up in the hospital. The problem with this data is it doesn't specify the severity of symptoms. 

It's something to think about as you make responsible Thanksgiving plans. Even though older adults are more at risk of severe COVID-19 complications, anyone who is positive can spread the virus.

The CDC says people who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic cause more than half of transmissions. 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER, 24, 2020

7:00 p.m. 

  • 47 new cases at Carolina Pines at Greensboro. They now have 96 total cases (71 residents, 25 staff), 2 deaths. This is now the largest active outbreak in Guilford County. It is now the 2nd largest outbreak on record in Guilford County.
  • 45 new cases at Guilford Health Care Center. 5 more people have died there too. They now have 62 total cases (41 residents, 21 staff), 6 deaths.
  • 16 new cases at The Citadel in Winston-Salem. They now have 52 total cases (36 residents, 16 staff), no deaths. This is their 2nd outbreak. The first had 69 cases and 4 deaths.
  • 3 people have died at Oak Forest Health & Rehab in Winston-Salem. They have 54 total cases (30 residents, 24 staff), 3 total deaths. This is their 3rd outbreak. The first had 13 cases, 0 deaths. The second had 79 cases, 1 death.
  • 16 new cases and 4 more deaths at Trinity Glen in Forsyth County. There are now 66 total cases, exceeding the total from their 1st outbreak. The first outbreak had 54 cases and 10 deaths.

Four New Outbreaks

  • Magnolia Creek Assisted Living in Winston-Salem. 2 total cases (both staff), no deaths.
  • A facility on Mebane Street in Burlington. DHHS doesn't specify the name of the facility, so it is likely a homeless shelter or something along those lines. 6 total cases (5 residents, 1 staff), no deaths.
  • Alamance House in Burlington. 3 total cases (all staff), no deaths.
  • GrayBrier Nursing and Rehab in Trinity. 28 total cases (7 residents, 21 staff), no deaths. 

Other Increases 

  • 13 new cases at Arbor Acres United Methodist Retirement Community in Forsyth County. Now 29 total.
  • 12 new cases at Horizons Atrium Residential Care Center in Forsyth County. Now 22 total.
  • 11 new cases at Clapps Convalescent Nursing Home in Randolph County. Now 20 total.
  • 16 new cases at Wilkesboro Assisted Living. Now 31 total.

6:00 p.m.

  • New cases: 3,100 
  • Single-day case record: 4,514 (Nov. 22)
  • Total cases: 342,294 
  • Presumed recoveries: 293,555
  • Completed tests: 5,010,194 
  • Hospitalizations: 1,724 (appears to be record high)
  • Average testing turnaround: 2.6 days
  • Percent of positive tests: 6.5% (higher than the state goal of 5% but lower than the national average of 11.9%)

4:11 p.m. - Alamance Health Department reports COVID-19 outbreak at Alamance House long-term care facility in Burlington.

Health leaders said three staff members tested positive.

RELATED: COVID-19 outbreak reported at Alamance House in Burlington

12 p.m. - NCDHHS released the latest COVID-19 data for the state on Tuesday. More than 1,700 COVID-19 patients are in hospitals statewide, another record high. The average testing turnaround time is 2.6 days. This means if you get a test on Tuesday, you likely won't have the result by Thanksgiving. 

There has been an increased demand for COVID-19 testing before Thanksgiving, and more testing can identify more positive cases, which is why it's important to look at the percentage of positive tests to gauge the spread of the virus. North Carolina's percent positive is 6.5% - higher than the state goal of 5%, but lower than the national average of 11.9%. 

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2020

5 p.m. - Guilford, Alamance counties listed in red or ‘critical’ under new COVID-19 County Alert System, Davidson County listed in yellow or ‘substantial’

Both Guilford County and Alamance County are now listed in the red zone under the state’s new COVID-19 County Alert System.

Both counties are among 20 now in red or at a critical level for community spread.

The state unleashed the new COVID-19 County Alert System last week to identify counties with the highest levels of viral spread.

According to the Davidson County Health Department, Davidson County was listed as yellow showing substantial community spread.

A spokesperson for the department said transmission in the county has increased over the last two weeks.

2 p.m. - Gov. Roy Cooper gave an update on how North Carolina is doing with COVID-19. The state's metrics are trending in a dangerous direction, and Cooper is doubling down on the mask mandate that he enacted in June. His latest executive order places more responsibility on businesses to enforce mask-wearing as well as capacity limits inside stores. 

  • Gov. Roy Cooper gave a warning that COVID-19 is rising across the nation, and here in North Carolina. "We are in danger," he said. 
  • Twenty North Carolina counties are now in the "red zone," meaning there is critical community spread of COVID. That's double the amount we were seeing last week. More than 40 are in the "orange zone." 
  • NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen went over COVID-19 metrics. 
  • COVID-like syndromic cases are "significantly above baseline," she said. (Red X) 
  • The trajectory of cases are trending up significantly, Cohen said. (Red X) 
  • The percent of positive tests has increased slightly, but we've kept it in the single digits unlike other states. (Yellow Line)
  • Hospitalizations are increasing. (Yellow Line)
  • North Carolina's mask mandate has been in effect since June, and Gov. Cooper is extending the order to further emphasize the urgency to wear a mask. Cooper said the order puts more responsibility on retailers to enforce the mask mandate and capacity limits. The state task force wants stores to have someone in front of businesses making sure customers are wearing masks before entering, as well as keeping track of capacity. Currently, large North Carolina retail stores are limited to 50% capacity. 
  • Greensboro Mayor Vaughan said without the additional beds at Cone's Health decommissioned Women's Hospital, COVID-19 hospitalizations would be beyond capacity in Greensboro. 
  • Cone Health had 36 COVID patients one month ago. Last week, Cone Health had 133 COVID patients, with 27 in the ICU. At this rate, Cone Health predicts to have 200-300 COVID patients by February or March. 
  • 230 people have died from COVID in Guilford County, according to Cone Health. The hospital group predicts 100 more people will die before the year ends. 
  • Vaughan spoke about the emergency declaration order for Greensboro that will further enforce the mask mandate and capacity orders at businesses. Businesses will be subject to fines or being temporarily closed if COVID-19 orders are not followed. 

12 p.m. - Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan confirmed with WFMY News 2's Jess Winters she will be speaking at Gov. Roy Cooper's COVID-19 briefing scheduled for 2 p.m. State health leaders have said in previous COVID-19 briefings that they are closely watching a rise in hospitalizations in the Triad area. 

The city of Greensboro announced an emergency declaration order will go into effect on Friday. The order does not put in place further restrictions, but rather, enhances existing statewide orders like the mask mandate and limits on business capacities. 

The city said it will cite and fine businesses found in violation of the order. That includes a $100 fine for each person found to be on the premises or within any business in excess of the limits imposed by the order. 

RELATED: 'We have to get a hold of this' | Greensboro orders emergency declaration due to spike in COVID-19 cases, businesses in violation will be fined

5:30 a.m. - AstraZeneca announced Monday its COVID-19 vaccine has been up to 90% effective in early clinical trials. The company says the vaccine also does not need to be stored in ultra-cold temperatures, making it easy to distribute. 

RELATED: AstraZeneca: COVID-19 vaccine 'highly effective' prevention

FACTS NOT FEAR

Remember facts, not fear when talking about the coronavirus. You should take the safety measures recommended by health leaders to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Abide by the three W's. That means wearing a mask, washing your hands, and waiting at least six feet from another person. You also want to avoid touching your face and make sure to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw it away.

WHERE YOU GET INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS IS IMPORTANT

It is important to make sure the information you are getting about the coronavirus is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS. Be careful not to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media. 

For more information visit the CDC OR NCDHHS

NC CORONAVIRUS HOTLINE 

The state also has a special hotline set up where you can call 866-462-3821 for more information on the coronavirus. You can also submit questions online at ncpoisoncontrol.org or select chat to talk with someone about the virus.

You can also text keyword VIRUS to WFMY News 2 at 336-379-5775 for the latest.

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