COVID cases in Lee County topped 3,000 Thursday as local government announced the second death related to the disease in as many days.

The Lee County Health Department on Thursday confirmed 105 new cases since Monday, bringing the total number of residents who have tested positive to 3,027, and reported back to back COVID deaths on Wednesday and Thursday. The total number of people in Lee County who have died from COVID now stands at 38. It was the third death reported this week.

“We offer our condolences to the family who most recently lost their loved one to COVID-19,” said Lee County Health Director Heath Cain. “We have seen a troubling trend with twelve county COVID-19 deaths in the past month.  With the onset of cold weather that has moved more activities indoors and the holiday season that has traditionally encouraged family and friends to get together, we are seeing a significant increase in new COVID-19 cases in Lee County. The news of a vaccine is promising but we must continue to observe the three W’s to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Please remember to wear, wait and wash – wear a face mask in public, wait six feet or more away from others, and wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.”

The number of active cases also increased from 344 to 447 since Monday. 2,542 people have recovered.

Identifying information about patients isn’t disclosed, but the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services COVID dashboard does have some demographic information. According to the dashboard, the rolling seven day average for new cases remained stable from Monday to today, going from 30.86 to 30.57, while the percent positive rate increased just slightly from 12.2 to 12.4 percent in the same time period.

The Lee County Health Department in partnership with Optum Health and NCDHHS will provide community testing at the Piggly Wiggly in Sanford on Friday, December 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, December 19 and Sunday, December 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PM. Testing is also scheduled at the Piggly Wiggly in Broadway on Saturday, December 26 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, December 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment, please visit; if internet is not available or if you are scheduling for a minor, please call (877) 562-4850.