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February becomes deadliest month for COVID-19 in Forsyth
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February becomes deadliest month for COVID-19 in Forsyth

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February has become the deadliest month for COVID-19 related deaths in Forsyth County with an additional one reported Sunday by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

The overall total for the pandemic is at 338 for Forsyth.

That includes 60 deaths in February. The previous high was 59 in January.

At least one death among Forsyth residents has been reported on all but two days so far in February. There have been 19 deaths over the past seven days.

DHHS reported 96 new cases in Forsyth, compared with 95 reported Saturday, 115 reported Friday and 110 reported Thursday. The overall total is 31,160.

There have been at least 100 cases reported all but four days between Jan. 20 and Saturday.

DHHS lists COVID-19 cases and deaths on the day they are confirmed by medical providers and public health officials, so individuals may have been infected or died days before their cases were counted.

Statewide numbers

DHHS reported 2,541 new cases statewide Sunday, compared with 3,446 reported Saturday, 3,227 on Friday and 3,916 on Thursday.

The overall statewide total is at 842,637.

There were 30 COVID-19 related deaths statewide, compared with 76 reported Saturday, 54 on Friday and 96 on  Thursday. The overall total is at 10,926.

Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday that North Carolina may be nearing an easing of some Phase Three pandemic socioeconomic restrictions by early March.

Cooper said he and his administration expect to announce this week their plans. Some of the restrictions have been in place since Oct. 2.

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"All of the restrictions that are in place now ... all of these are on the table to be considered," Cooper said.

"Health officials are examining the data and looking at the science, talking to people in other states. They will continue to look at our (COVID-19) numbers ... as we look at the next executive order."

Vaccinations

As of Friday, more than 1.98 million doses of the vaccine had been administered in N.C. — about 1.8 million by medical providers and more than 171,000 in long-term care centers.

There have been 69,762 vaccinations administered in Forsyth, with 44,539 individuals receiving the first dose, or about 11.6% of county residents, and 25,223 receiving both doses, or 6.6%.

Joshua Swift, Forsyth's health director, said Tuesday that about 45% of Forsyth residents ages 75 and older have received their first dose, along with 38% of those ages 65 to 74.

Statewide, 1,647 COVID-19 hospitalizations were reported Sunday, down 61 from Saturday.

Sunday's hospitalizations were at the lowest level since 1,601 on Nov. 23. The statewide hospitalization count has dropped for 25 of the last 28 days.

The 17-county Triad region reported 387 COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Sunday, down 21 from Saturday. The Triad has had the highest daily hospitalizations of any region for most of the last 17 weeks.

The state's positive test rate was at 5.9% out of 46,997 tests conducted Friday.

By contrast, the record high 17.5% of the 25,882 tests conducted Jan. 4.

DHHS reported Forsyth had a positive COVID-19 test rate of 7.2% out of about 1,000 tests conducted Friday.

The county's record high was 14.8% out of about 1,150 tests conducted Jan. 10.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, the state's health secretary, has said it would take a statewide positive test rate of 5% or below to mark a decrease in community spread of COVID-19.

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@rcraverWSJ

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