FROM STAFF REPORTS

The number of laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to surge in Iredell County and across North Carolina.

The Iredell County Health Department reported two more deaths over the past 48 hours, pushing the county’s COVID-19 death toll to 58 people as of late Thursday afternoon.

The latest death was reported Thursday along with 168 new cases. There have now been 5,122 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iredell County.

Twenty-six people who have tested positive are currently hospitalized in the county, and another 882 individuals are isolating at home after becoming infected with COVID-19.

Health officials estimate that 4,156 people who have tested positive have now recovered, although some of them may develop long-term health issues.

Iredell County’s increase in positive cases mirrors a statewide surge.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday reported the state’s highest one-day number of new COVID-19 cases with 4,296. The record-high day follows several days of increasing trends in new cases, the percent of tests that are positive and hospitalizations, according to a news release.

“I am very concerned. We are seeing warning signs in our trends that we need to heed to keep our family and friends from getting sick and ensuring our hospitals are able to care for those that have serious illness,” NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy K. Cohen said in the news release. “We can do that if each North Carolinian wears a face mask over their mouth and nose anytime they are with people they do not live with; waits six feet apart and avoids crowds; and washes their hands often.

“We have reasons for hope. With promising news on vaccines, this pandemic will end,” Cohen added. “Until then, North Carolinians need to do what we’ve done throughout this pandemic — take care of one another.”

COVID-19 is highly contagious, and more than half of North Carolinians are at high risk for serious illness. Studies are also finding that some people, including those who had mild illness, experience symptoms for weeks or months following infection.

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