State sees first COVID-19-related deaths

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Wilson County charted its seventh diagnosed case of COVID-19 on Wednesday, where health officials said it was connected to another previous positive case here.

Out of the seven positive cases in Wilson, three patients have recovered, according to Wilson County Health Director Teresa Ellen.

As more test results begin to come in, state and local health officials say the public will see an increase in confirmed cases.


North Carolina reported its first COVID-19-associated death on Wednesday. A Cabarrus County resident died Tuesday from complications associated with the virus, according to state health officials. Officials said the patient was in his or her late 70s and had several underlying medical conditions.

A second person in his or her 60 from Virginia, who was traveling through North Carolina, also died from COVID-19 complications, state health officials said.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement. “This is a stark warning that for some people, COVID-19 is a serious illness. All of us must do our part to stop the spread by staying at home as much as possible and practicing social distancing.”

So far, North Carolina has had at least 504 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the latest data from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services released Wednesday morning.

More than 12,000 tests have been completed and nearly 15,000 more samples are pending for results, Cooper said during a Wednesday afternoon press conference. He added that there are several patients who are seriously ill and in critical condition as a result of the virus.

“We know they are fighting for their lives,” Cooper said during the press conference.

He said with the state announcing its first COVID-19-related deaths Wednesday, it’s vital that North Carolinians take the disease seriously.

State Treasurer Dale Folwell also announced Wednesday he’s been diagnosed with COVID-19. He is currently being quarantined and following advice from his doctor as to when he will be medically cleared to return to work, according to a statement he released Wednesday.


Health officials say it’s vital for each person to do his or her part in slowing COVID-19’s spread. Preventing a large peak of cases at once will help the health care system provide treatment to those who have complications from the virus. State and local officials say residents should continue to follow CDC guidelines.

• Wash your hands and surfaces frequently.

• Avoid any crowds.

• Practice social distancing (at least 6 feet).

• Work from home if possible.

• If you don’t feel well, stay at home.

• Call your doctor if you are exhibiting symptoms including cough, fever or shortness of breath. If you do not have a doctor and you are exhibiting symptoms, call the Wilson County Health Department at 252-237-3141.

Wilson Medical Center has also implemented a COVID-19 screening hotline: 252-399-7068, which is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.