COVID-19 cases spiking in rural areas in North Carolina

COVID-19 cases spiking in rural areas in North Carolina
Dr. Mandy K. Cohen, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services comments on a new report showing COVID-19 cases are spiking in rural areas. (Source: WECT)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - Just as people are about to head home for the holidays, the state released a new report showing COVID-19 cases are spiking in rural areas.

Nearly twice as many new cases have been reported from rural counties compared to urban or suburban counties, according to the report. The cases and deaths in rural counties are increasingly among white people with the majority being 49 years old and younger.

State leaders said the increase is being driven by community spread, not congregate living settings.

“I think they are communities that largely were spared earlier in the year,” said Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen with NCDHHS. “We didn’t see as much spread earlier in the year and now the virus has hit these communities and we are seeing that the virus is spreading more, and because we are seeing folks are letting down their guard in some informal settings and social settings and religious settings, we’re seeing this virus spread.”

She said it should be a strong reminder to follow the three W’s: Wear, Wait, Wash.

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