The number of COVID-19 cases in Pitt County grew by 22 over the weekend as more business began to reopen while enforcing strict measures to control the virus’ spread.
The number of cumulative cases since the first positive testing for COVID-19 in Pitt on March 12 grew from 242 on Friday to 264 on Monday, according to numbers provided by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Resources.
Data from the county has not been updated since Friday. However, the number of cases grew by 12 from Thursday to Friday, going from 230 to 242. On Saturday, the number went up another 12 to 254. The 12-case jumps are among the biggest single-day increases in the county.
On Sunday, the numbers increased by three to 257, and on Monday by seven to 264. State numbers and county numbers typically differ by one or two cases, county officials have said.
The most recent data available from the county indicates that 147 people here are believed to be recovered from the virus, while two people died. About 7.5 percent of all people tested for the virus as of Friday were positive, county data showed.
The number of people hospitalized in Vidant Health system facilities as of Monday was 72. Vidant does not provide breakdowns for individual hospitals including Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.
Restaurants, brew pubs and hair-care businesses were allowed to open across the state on Friday and many saw a return of customers over the weekend as Phase 2 of the state’s phased plan to reopen the economy took effect.
Long lines of people waiting for a haircut cued up outside hair salons like the Great Clips at University Commons on Saturday after it reopened for business.
The salon followed state and corporate guidelines that customers wait outside while masked stylists worked in every other chair inside. The business is managing the backlog with help from an appointment smartphone app.
Restaurants like Chicos in downtown Greenville also opened at 50 percent capacity. Staff in masks greeted customers at 5 p.m. on Friday and allowed them to sit at every other table. Plenty and hand sanitizer, disposable menus and other measures were in place.
The state reported a cumulative total of nearly 24,000 positive cases Monday, a daily increase of about 740. On Saturday, the state reported 1,100 new cases, its biggest daily jump since the first positive cases were reported in March. Monday’s state tally includes about 754 deaths and 627 hospitalizations.
Saturday’s increase was concerning DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen said over the weekend. “Please practice the three Ws — wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash your hands frequently. When it comes to our health, we need to work together to protect our families, friends and neighbors.”
Officials have said daily cases totals are likely to climb as testing increases. The number of positive tests compared to total tests statewide rose to 10 percent on Saturday from a low of 6 percent earlier last week. On Monday the percentage had dropped to 8 percent.
State epidemiologists are continually analyzing the data to address contributing factors if necessary.