Lee County Government reported 22 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed since Tuesday, bringing the total number of patients who have tested positive to 726.

Twelve of the cases were confirmed on Tuesday and 10 were confirmed on Wednesday. The number of patients who had recovered increased Wednesday by 33 to 518. There have been eight laboratory confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Lee County. The number of patients who are currently hospitalized was not released.

The county only discloses demographic information – age range and gender – of those who have tested positive. The information is reported on a 24 hour delay, so the 10 new cases announced Wednesday are not included below.

But of the 716 cases reported through Tuesday, 55 percent were female and 45 percent were male. There were 162 cases in people under 24, 274 between 25 and 44, 221 between 45 and 64, and 59 who were 65 or older.

Additionally, the City of Sanford on Wednesday announced that it would provide 2,000 free masks to the general public. The announcement came on the same day as North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced an executive order requiring people to wear masks while in public.

“We can work together to slow down the spread of COVID-19 in Sanford by doing something as simple as wearing a mask,” Sanford Mayor Chet Mann said in a news release.

The masks will become available to the public on Thursday until supplies run out. People can get them at the following locations and times:

*Salvation Army, 507 N. Steele St. – Monday through Thursday – 9 a.m. – noon, 1 – 3 p.m.
*The Bread Basket, 140 E. Chisholm St. – Monday through Friday – 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
*Central Fire Station, 512 Hawkins Ave. – Monday through Friday – 10 a.m. – noon.
*Sanford Farmers’ Market, Chatham Street Parking Lot – Saturdays – 8 a.m. – noon.
*Christians United Outreach Center, 2885 Lee Ave. – Available through the mobile food line.

For more information about the program or to obtain a mask outside of the hours listed, contact Public Information Officer Kelly Miller at (919) 718-4658.