WILSON, N.C. (WTVD) -- As the numbers of nationwide COVID-19 cases and deaths rise, more people closely monitor related developments where they live.
There's a heightened sense of awareness in Wilson County after Governor Cooper's announcement of a new statewide alert system for COVID-19.
Wilson's one of 10 counties in the North Carolina alert system classified as a red zone, highest in the spread of COVID-19.
"Wilson County takes this virus serious. We have since before March," said assistant county manager Ron Hunt. Hunt said total cases there are down to 7.4 percent now and shared the latest numbers with ABC11:
Hunt also reported no new deaths, but confirms a man with COVID-19 and other health problems died earlier this week at Accordius Health, an assisted living center.
"We have had deaths since the beginning of this event, as have most of North Carolina's counties. And we feel strong in our commitment to our citizens and continuing our current mitigation strategies," Hunt said. "What we don't want is for this alert system to confuse people. We want them focused on their action steps, they don't need to be so much focused on the color that we are."
Hunt wants residents to focus instead on masking up, washing hands often and maintaining social distance, especially with Thanksgiving a week away. He advises everyone to be extra careful and avoid anything that could spread the virus.