New Hanover Co. health officials say they’re seeing “Thanksgiving surge” of COVID-19 cases

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - New Hanover County Public Health officials say they’re seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases they are attributing to the Thanksgiving holiday.

The county as had eight days this month with more than 100 cases of COVID-19 reported, and the daily case count record was broken twice this week, with 156 new cases of COVID-19 reported Tuesday and a record 198 on Thursday.

To date, there have been a total of 8,777 COVID-19 cases in the county, with about 1,645 of those currently infected with the virus.

Nine additional deaths of residents from COVID-19 were also reported this week, bringing the total number of county residents who have died from COVID-19 to 76.

Of the nine individuals reported to have died from the virus, one person was in their 50′s, two in their 60′s, two in their 70′s, three in their 80′s and one in their 90′s. All were considered to be at increased risk of severe illness because of age or underlying health conditions.

Public Health is currently monitoring six outbreaks and three clusters of the virus locally, and health officials urge residents to continue protective measures to slow the spread of the virus through the holiday season.

“This recent surge in cases can be attributed to activity over the Thanksgiving holiday – people got together with family and friends that maybe they hadn’t seen in a while, and what this does is it increases your exposure to COVID-19,” said Carla Turner, assistant health director for New Hanover County. “As you make your holiday plans, please consider staying home and celebrating with members of your household. The holiday season is all about showing how much we care about those around us and what you can do is take actions now and put protective measures in place to protect yourself, protect the people you love and protect this community. The spread of COVID-19 can be slowed – it can be done, but one person is not going to do it. It takes a team…together we can make a difference.”

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