By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Hoke is one of a handful of North Carolina counties that moved up, rather than down in the state’s COVID-19 County Alert System last week.
The county went from yellow, significant community spread of the virus, to orange, for substantial community spread. Hoke was one of 20 counties in the orange. Only one county in the state, Edgecombe County, is in the highest red tier.
“North Carolina’s key metrics show a leveling off of COVID-19 trends after several weeks of decline. Although levels are far below the post-holiday peak in January, most of the state continues to experience significant or substantial community spread with concerning increases in younger adult age groups,” the report stated. “Continued adherence to the 3Ws – wearing a face mask, waiting six feet apart, and washing hands often – along with people getting vaccinated as quickly as possible are critically important to slow the spread of the virus.”
Hoke’s neighbors Scotland, Moore and Harnett counties were also in the orange, though Cumberland County was in the yellow for significant impact, and Robeson County was in light yellow for moderate impact.
The substantial spread category means Hoke has seen between 101 to 200 new cases per 100,000 people over the last 14 days. Specifically, the county has seen 214 new cases over the last two weeks, including 118 in the last seven days – an increase over previous weeks. The county has seen 4,515 known positive cases to date, and 55 people in Hoke died of causes due to the virus.
The county’s hospitals are seeing medium impact from the pandemic at the moment, according to the report. The county’s percent of positive COVID-19 tests compared to all tests remains fairly low, at 8.3 percent, but still above the state’s benchmark goal of five percent or lower.