Stanly County informed of second COVID-19 death

(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

ALBEMARLE –– On Saturday, the Stanly County Health Department reported a second COVID-19-associated death, just two days after from the first death in the county. 

According to the health department’s press release, the death on Saturday was caused by complications associated with the virus. The victim was an older adult in a residential care facility who had been suffering from underlying medical conditions.  

There have now been three residents at the Spring Arbor of Albemarle assisted living facility that have tested positive for COVID-19, including one case that resulted in a death, Spring Arbor staff told WBTV on Monday. 

“We extend our sympathies to the family at this time,” Stanly County Health and Human Services Director David Jenkins said in the release. “We are in close contact with the facility and the state to ensure that all measures are being taken to prevent further spread of this virus.” 

In collaboration with the health department, the facility is continuing to monitor the residents with daily temperature checks and examinations during their quarantine. Meanwhile, all staff is given a health check upon arrival to work along with clean gloves and masks. 

Stanly County public health education specialist Wendy Growcock told SCJ that the health department is working with all residential care facilities in the county to help prevent spread of the virus.  

“I would say that because Stanly County is small, we don’t have the same numbers that Cabarrus or Union would have. But it’s definitely out in our community,” Growcock said. “There’s community spread, meaning we don’t know exactly where people might contract it from. We’re trying to make sure that everybody is aware and doing what they need to do to keep safe.” 

As of Tuesday, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed 4,816 statewide cases with 86 deaths; out of those totals, 17 cases and two deaths are from Stanly County. Cabarrus County has 165 cases and one death, and Union County has 104 cases and one death. 

According to DHHS statistics, only a quarter of coronavirus cases in North Carolina are from individuals 65 and older, though that age group makes up 80% of the overall deaths. Despite these increasing numbers, North Carolina currently holds one of the lowest COVID-19 fatality rates in the nation, averaging out to around nine people per million. 

On April 9, the Stanly County Health Department reported the first COVID-19 associated death within the county. That patient, who was in their early 60s, also had underlying medical conditions and died from complications associated with the virus. The department confirmed that the case was related to travel to an area of high risk.  

“We are very saddened by this news and continue to encourage our community to take the necessary precautions to limit the spread of this serious disease,” Jenkins said in an earlier press release.