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NCDHHS: 2 Triad counties named as areas of concern for coronavirus by White House

Both national - and state - health experts are taking a close look at several North Carolina counties as potential spots for upcoming coronavirus surge.

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — As the state reopens, and more people get back out of the house, health experts issue this warning: coronavirus is still very much here, and still spreading.

"I think that we've done a lot of really good work to this point but we know there's so much more to do," said Dr. Mandy Cohen, the state's Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, earlier this week, "I know everyone is feeling weary from COVID-19. We've been at this a long time."

Dr. Deborah Birx with the White House coronavirus task force, called Dr. Cohen, raising concern over the rise in coronavirus cases in a number of counties: Mecklenburg, Durham, Wake, Forsyth, Duplin, Lee. Johnston, and Alamance. 

Dr. Cohen says, these areas were already on the state's radar.

"We were already there in terms of thinking about how do we surge resources," said Dr. Cohen.

Joshua Swift - Public Health Director for Forsyth County says, as the fourth largest county in the state, it's not surprising to be on this list. Swift's team is already strategizing on how to get more tests to people who need them. 

"A test is one moment in time, but the metrics we're looking at are in those areas that have been historically marginalized," he said Thursday, "Where there is less access to tests. We're trying to be strategic about how we get into those areas."

Dr. Cohen says it's important to note, she doesn't want people to overread that these counties did anything wrong. But, currently, they are the areas identified as most at risk for an upcoming coronavirus surge.

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