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New Hanover County’s positive COVID cases surpasses state, expected to plateau in the coming weeks

This week in New Hanover County, 38% of all COVID-19 tests in the county came back positive
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 11:14 PM EST
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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Following most counties in southeastern North Carolina, the number of positive COVID-19 cases is higher than the state’s average.

However, health officials in New Hanover County expected these increases, as they say we haven’t hit the peak yet, and it will take some time before that trend changes.

“In general indicators from the United Kingdom and New York City and other large cities that saw omicron first,” said Public Health Director David Howard. “They indicated to us within the next several weeks we’ll see some plateauing and the beginning of a decline.”

This week in New Hanover County, 38% of all COVID-19 tests in the county came back positive. That’s slightly higher than the state’s number, which reached 37% this week.

“Previously we were below the state level,” said Howard. “In percent positivity and 14 day average cases. Partly because we have gone back to normal. We’re operating on a normal basis for the most part, and trying to push through this.”

Despite the increase in cases, the county’s health board voted last week not to implement an indoor mask mandate.

However, Howard says that the public should still continue to take preventative measures and make smart choices.

“Over the past couple of surges, it’s really been about navigation,” said Howard. “Using some of these controlled measures and just really being smart. It’s really common sense.”

Howard also said that the main goal is to keep schools and workplaces operating as normally as possible until the case numbers begin to drop.

You can find the county’s COVID-19 dashboard here.

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