Outbreak totals as of Oct. 13, 2020.

Outbreak totals as of Oct. 13, 2020. 

Coronavirus cases have topped 2,000 in Moore County, with nearly 200 infections reported over the past week.

A total of 2,045 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, have been confirmed in the area since March, according to the Moore County Health Department. The average number of new infections per day was 26 for the seven days ending Wednesday, a twofold increase from the median daily average for September.

The county’s positivity rate for coronavirus testing is also on the rise. The health department said 10 percent of tests administered in the county have come back positive, well above the statewide average of 6.6 percent.

Data released Tuesday by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services show that some of the new cases are linked to separate outbreaks at Magnolia Gardens, an assisted living community in Southern Pines, and at Peak Resources Pinelake, a nursing home in Carthage.

On Wednesday, the Moore County Health Department announced the launch of a regional initiative to curtail the spread of the virus in long-term care settings. The effort will be led by a “prevention support team” based out of the department’s offices in Carthage, according to a news release. 

“This prevention support team should prove to be a very valuable resource in helping our county and the counties in our region to mitigate the frequency, extent and duration of COVID-19 outbreaks in our long-term care facilities,” Robert Wittmann, director of the health department, said in a statement.

The two-person team will evaluate “infection control measures” at long-term care facilities, the release said, and “provide consultation on best practices and opportunities for improvement.”

More than 380 of the county’s cases, or about 18 percent, are tied to outbreaks in long-term care settings, along with 22 of the 36 local deaths attributed to COVID-19. There are currently nine facilities with active outbreaks in Moore County.

Of the nine counties adjacent to Moore, only Harnett has more outbreaks listed on the state’s online dashboard tracking the spread of the coronavirus.

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