'Not where we want it to be': Cumberland County sees spike in daily COVID-19 cases, breaks 5,000 threshold

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Saturday, September 19, 2020
Cumberland County sees spike in daily COVID-19 cases, breaks 5,000 threshold
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College students, in particular, are contributing to the spike, health officials say.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cumberland County has broken the 5,000 mark for total COVID-19 cases, adding an additional 195 confirmed cases this week, according to the health department.

"The trend, over the last week or so, has been declining, but it is not where we want to be yet. We have far too many cases in a day," Cumberland County Health Director Jennifer Green told ABC11.

Green said that along with the nearly 200 cases this week, the death toll has risen to 79. She said the spikes and drops have been like a roller coaster for the past few weeks. As of Friday, the positive test rate was at 8.6 percent with nearly 40 cases a day.

"It's still not low enough and where we'd like to see less community spread or community transmission," Green said.

County health officials said it's too early to gauge whether Phase 2.5 is a contributing factor. The new phase, which began September 4, eased restrictions, allowing businesses such as gyms and bowling alleys to re-open.

Green said university students are contributing to the spikes.

"More cases between the ages of 18 to 24 years old. Um, and then we still have a number of cases that come about in our long-term-care facilities," Green added. She went on to say that it is important to look at each metric as an entire picture, not just the individual number such as positivity rate or total cases.

As flu season quickly approaches, Green urged people to not become complacent and to continue following the 3 W's to help put a stop to these reoccurring spikes.