MOORESVILLE, NC — The number of known COVID-19 cases in Iredell County jumped by 947 cases in the span of one week, with a new record of 300 cases reported in one day, Iredell County Health Department reported Friday afternoon.
As of Dec. 18, at least 59 county residents were hospitalized and least 90 deaths were attributed to the virus — an increase of 10 county residents dead from the virus in a week.
The news comes as North Carolina's tally of COVID-19 cases rose by 8,444 new cases Friday, increasing the state's total to 466,104 known cases, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. At least 60 deaths were reported, increasing the state's death toll to 6,125. As of Dec. 18, about 10.5 percent of tests conducted in the state were positive.
The county health department will begin vaccinations of healthcare workers and first responders the week of Dec. 21 in drive-thru vaccination points, it said Friday.
"First responders and healthcare workers at high risk for exposure to COVID-19 should reach out to his or her place of employment to find out where and when this vaccine will be made available," the health department said. "ICHD will be communicating to healthcare and first
responder agencies to inform them where and when the drive thru points of vaccination will be offered in Iredell County. Proof of employment will be required to receive the vaccine from the Iredell County Health Department during phase 1A of COVID-19 vaccine deployment."
Iredell County health officials group cases into three regions of the county: North, Central and South. Here's a breakdown of how many cases were confirmed in each region as of 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18:
North Region (zip codes 27020, 27028, 27055, 28625, 28634, 28636, 28660, 28689 and 28678)
1,562 cases (up from 1,419 cases reported Dec. 11)
Central Region (zip codes 27013, 28166, 28677)
3,220 cases (up from 2,840 cases reported Dec. 11)
South Region (zip codes 28036, 28115, 28117, 28125)
3,292 cases (up from 2,868 cases reported Dec. 11)
Iredell County is one of 48 counties in the state where the current spread of COVID-19 is at a critical level, prompting public health officials to urge residents to limit going out to essential activities and avoid socializing with those outside their households.
DHHS recommends the following for Iredell, along with other "red" counties:
Limit mixing between households and minimize the number of people in your social circle
Avoid setting where people congregate, like outdoor bars and night spots
If patronizing restaurants, consider ordering take out from restaurants and/or eating outdoors socially distanced
Individuals who are high-risk for developing serious illness should consider staying at home as much as possible
Reduce your public interactions to mainly essential activities, like going to work or school, caring for family members, buying food, getting health care or picking up medications