Younger Wilkes residents are accounting for a larger share of the county’s active COVID-19 cases, said Wilkes County Health Director Rachel Willard.

Willard said people ages 25-44 accounted for the largest share of the county’s approximately 450 active COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday.

She said the next largest segment of the population with active cases then was people 18 and younger.

“As for transmission, about 38% of our active cases are coming from household positives,” said Willard.

She said the health department is seeing people deemed a close contact to someone with COVID-19 outside the home developing symptoms on days eight to 11 and then testing positive.

For close contacts in homes, symptoms are generally developing within two to four days.

“Our long-term care facilities are doing well, with COVID-19 cases there minimal at this time,” she said.

Willard said Wilkes County’s largest monthly totals of COVID-19 cases and COVID-19-related deaths were recorded in August. “We also know that regionally our hospitals are at or near capacity.”

As of Tuesday, the deaths of 142 Wilkes residents were officially connected to COVID-19. Willard said ages of roughly the last five people who died ranged from 30s to 80s.

As of Tuesday, 8,967 Wilkes residents had tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. That’s up from 8,725 on Friday, indicating the a COVID-19 surge underway since August isn’t easing.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported that as of Tuesday, 37% of all Wilkes residents were fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Statewide, 61% of adults were fully vaccinated by then.

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