By Richard Sullins | email@example.com
Editor’s note: This story was first published in the printed edition of The Rant Monthly on Oct. 1, 2021.
COVID-19 cut a brutal swath through Lee County during the first half of September, and even though it appears the number of positive cases has started to show a slight decline as October begins, what happens next could be determined by the extent to which county residents practice the good health strategies proven to slow the spread of the virus as a more familiar health threat prepares to make its annual return.
The percentage of COVID tests that were returned as positive had dropped to a very low three percent as the summer began in June. By the time fall arrived in mid-September just three months later, more than 13 percent of the tests were being received as positive.
But by the end of September just two weeks later, the percentage of positive tests had dropped by two percentage points, down to 11 percent, giving some reason to hope that the worst of the surge in cases was over.
Lee County Health Department Director Heath Cain told The Rant “the positive cases seem to be trending down at this point, but we continue to monitor the data daily.”
A look at the data lends some credence to that theory. The COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to help prevent the spread and the severity of infections.
Vaccination rates in Lee County, which had been lagging since the vaccines first became available in December 2020, began to accelerate in September as the number of cases and the death count both increased. Cain told The Rant “we are seeing an uptick in first doses at our Thursday and Friday afternoon clinics.”
The number of persons having received at least one shot by September 26 was 34,103, or 65.4 percent of people ages 12 and up, representing 3,382 more persons than at the end of August. The number who had been fully vaccinated by that date was 28,720 or 55.1 percent of that same age grouping, an increase since August of 1,027 persons.
In Lee County, the number of persons having tested positive for the virus in September was 924 cases per 100,000 residents, compared to an even 1,000 cases at the end of August per 100,000 residents, representing a decline of over 7 percent.
Yet, there are other indicators that suggest that the surge remains unabated within the county. At the end of July, 84 persons had died from COVID-19 in Lee County since the pandemic began in March of 2020. By the end of September, another 13 had lost their lives to the virus, bringing the total for the 18-month period to 97 and meaning that 13.4 percent of those deaths died in just the last two months.
The pandemic continues to have its greatest impact within the county among persons between the ages of 25 to 49 and disproportionately among females.
During the month of September, 37 percent of all cases were reported within those age groups. The number of cases among females (58 percent) outpaced those among males (42 percent) during the month. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 51 percent of Lee County’s residents are female.
But the greatest impact may soon be among the county’s school-aged children, more than half of whom are too young to be currently eligible to receive the vaccine.
By the end of September, 846 children had been quarantined because they had come into contact with someone in their family or close circle of friends who had tested positive for the virus.
According to the Lee County Schools COVID-19 Dashboard, 398 students had tested positive for the virus by September 24 and were sent home, in addition to 40 members of the district’s staff. The dashboard also indicated that the high schools had the largest number of positive cases.
Richard Sullins covers local government for The Rant.
Just in time for the state fair, then the holiday season…….
I see all of the numbers and percentages for COVID cases. I also see the percentage of vaccinated residents. What I don’t see is the number of residents that have caught it and recovered. These people have natural immunity and are more capable of fighting off the new strains of COVID than the vaccinated people. Try reporting that also.
How would you as many don’t go to any health care agent that would be in a position to collect and report the data?
I am waiting for a 10 year old’s test results …
Son has gone to two funerals of folks who work in his department in the last month. Happened in the least vaccinated county in NC.
It is true that people who have recovered from Covid may have some amount of natural immunity for some period of time. However natural immunity does not provide nearly the level of protection that the vaccine provides and as this article points out, you might die testing natural immunity for yourself. Do all of us a favor and get the vaccine.
Johnny epps, you really don’t want to know that number. That would really scare the pants off people. I mean, it was a talking point about a year ago, but doesn’t really mean much today. Seeing how the natural immunity does not appear to be as good as what is achieved via the vaccines, and doesn’t last as long. Even some people who are vaccinated are still ending up in the hospital with covid. They are 95% more4 likely to survive than an unvaccinated patient. You do you.
And the State Fair is not requiring proof of vaccination or use of masks. Great !!!
Why would you need proof of vaccination? It has no effect on anyone but you. You can still get and spread it. Biden is mandating like a mad tyrant. Do you really want to show your ID everywhere you go?
Why don’t you report the real numbers of persons who tested positive. You put out numbers based on 100,000 population. Lee County has far less than that number. Your numbers are greatly inflated.
I’ll help you out with the math Galen. What that means is that roughly 1% of the county population tested positive for covid in the month of September. That translates to around 600 people. 18 residents died in that period, but they probably are August infection numbers. We’re looking at 3% of those who test positive are now dead in that period.
Reporting based on 100,000 people is how you can tell how our county stacks up against anywhere else in the country. It’s not a nefarious way to make things seem worse. The Lord knows we don’t need to make it any worse than it is. You just need to do some simple math to see what the actual numbers are.
It is interesting that several people are saying that Natural Immunity is not as effective as the Vaccine. This has been proven false. Numerous studies have shown that those that have survived COVID have up to 7 times the immunity as those that have had the vaccines. SO as many of you have told people to do their homework, please do your homework too.
Does anyone else find it interesting that they don’t report the numbers of people that are testing positive, hospitalized, or died from COVID of people that have been vaccinated? The information that you are being told is not always as important as the information you are not being told. They report positive tests, they report percentage of people being vaccinated, they report the number of people that die. What they don’t report is how many positive tests are vaccinated people, and how many hospitalizations and deaths are vaccinated people. Sadly the media doesn’t demand this information. Why don’t they report this information? I would assume it is because the numbers are higher than they would like and if the public knew the numbers it would not bode well for the big push to get vaccinated.
Always look at what you are not being told, that is where the truth is.
Study just released from Harvard. Make sure you read it and share it with your friends. The vaccines are not doing what we are being told they would do and the Unvaccinated are NOT the cause of all of our problems. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8481107/
It took a weekend to take Italy back three months in its struggle against in the world after more than 30,000 Covid-related deaths. California plans to provide schools with enough at-home Covid-19 tests for every 28 or six months after an individual received the final dose.