Confirmed cases, testing for COVID-19 continues to increase

  • People are still urged to wear face masks
    People are still urged to wear face masks

Swain County, like much of the United States, is slowly returning to business as usual following the widespread closures that began in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, health officials warn that the public still needs to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

The number of cases in the county has continued to increase. On Tuesday, June 9, the county health department reported a total of 33 confirmed cases among a total of 1,422 tests. On the other hand, there have been a total of 1,181 tests returned negative. There are 208 tests pending. Test results are taking about 3-5 days.

When broken down by zip code, the majority of the positive cases are in the Cherokee zip code. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians reports its own numbers from those tested at the Cherokee Hospital with 47 total confirmed cases with 18 recovered as of June 9.

North Carolina recorded its highest increase in cases this past weekend at 1,370. As of Monday morning, the state exceeded 1,000 deaths due to the virus and had a total of nearly 36,500. The number of patients hospitalized has also increased with 740 patients on Monday. Previous to the Phase 2 lifting of restrictions in the state, the number of hospitalized was lower, between 400-500.

The number of positive cases coincides with increased testing with more than half a million tests completed statewide. Regardless, the state now ranks as one of the highest percentage of positive cases, said DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen in Monday’s media brief. She urged the public to continue to take the virus seriously.

Also Monday, Governor Roy Cooper warned public schools could have a late opening in the fall due to increased precautions. The school systems will be required to create social distancing plans. More information is set to be released come July 1.

Cooper said he would get tested for the virus as a precaution since attending a Black Lives Matter march and talking to protesters in the large crowd. Other people who have attended events with large crowds are also encouraged to get tested.