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Wilson marks 3rd COVID-19 death; 42 positive cases

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A Wilson County man has died from complications associated with COVID-19, marking the third death in less than a week. 

Wilson County Health Director Teresa Ellen said the patient, who was in his early 70s with underlying health conditions, died Tuesday. 

“We continue to offer our thoughts and prayers to those that are impacted by this virus,” Ellen said. “Any loss of life is a reminder for citizens to follow the strategies to prevent the spread to others.” 

Nearly a week ago, health officials announced the county’s first COVID-19-associated death, a woman in her late 60s with underlying health conditions who died April 2. The second death, a woman in her late 50s with underlying health conditions, died Sunday. 

WILSON COUNTY COVID-19 DATA

Wilson County has charted 42 positive cases, including the three deaths, according to Wednesday’s figures. Nine patients are hospitalized, 13 individuals have recovered and 17 are isolated at home, Ellen said. 

County health officials also released Wilson County’s positive COVID-19 case demographics on Wednesday. 

Of the 42 positive cases, 31% of patients are men and 69% are women, according to the health department. The average age for COVID-19 patients in Wilson County is 56. 

Of the 42 positive cases, 64% of patients are African American; 26% are white; 5% Hispanic; and 5% are Middle Eastern, according to the health department. 

The health department does not identify patients or employers of those who tested positive for COVID-19, said Assistant County Manager Ron Hunt. With any positive cases, the health department notifies all close contacts and provides thorough contact tracing, Hunt said. Should a company be concerned about its cleaning protocols or procedures, the health department can work closely with managers and employees, Hunt said. 

As of Wednesday, Hunt said the health department has no knowledge of outbreaks at any local businesses. 

‘LET’S KEEP IT UP’

Part of the mitigation strategy in the state since the beginning has been in anticipation of a steep increase, which Wilson County is seeing, Ellen said. 

“Once we peak, perhaps in a few weeks, the decline will be slower,” she said. Ellen said this is part of “slowing of the spread.” 

“The overall goal was and is to keep our health care system from being overwhelmed with everyone at once,” Ellen added. “We believe we are seeing this play out in the numbers and we will be tracking this carefully in the weeks ahead.” 

Ellen said it’s vital to continue to abide by the governor’s stay-at-home order. 

“The main message here is that if our citizens are questioning if their efforts are making a difference, that answer is yes,” she said. “But we don’t need to stop.” 

Ellen said Wilson County residents should continue to stay at home, practice social distancing when you must go out for essential items, wash your hands often, don’t touch your face and clean surfaces frequently. 

“We know it will make an even bigger difference in the weeks ahead,” she said. “Let’s keep it up.” 

NORTH CAROLINA DATA

Statewide, there have been 53 deaths associated with COVID-19 as of Wednesday, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Data shows that 79% of North Carolina’s deaths were patients age 65 and older. 

The number of people hospitalized across the state also increased Wednesday to 386, according to the state. 

Of the 3,426 positive cases in North Carolina, 41% of patients are between the ages of 25 to 49; 29% are between the ages of 50 to 64; 21% are ages 65 and older; and 8% are between the ages of 18 and 24, according to Wednesday’s state figures. 

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