Wilkes County reached a milestone of 100 officially confirmed deaths resulting from COVID-19 on Friday.

It was the ninth such Wilkes death reported this month and continued a pace that includes 21 Wilkes deaths reported in December and 19 reported in January.

All totaled, 49 of the 100 deaths were reported in December, January and the first 19 days of February.

Before February, the most deaths reported in one month was 13 in both November and August.

The county’s first confirmed COVID-19-related death occurred on March 31.

According to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, deaths aren’t counted as COVID-19-related unless the individuals tested positive for the virus before they died.

Meanwhile the number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in prior 14 days in Wilkes has generally continued to drop in about the last week. On Friday, it was 462 for Wilkes.

For counties adjoining Wilkes on Friday, it was Surry, 855; Watauga, 514; Alexander, 579; Iredell, 528; Yadkin, 467; Caldwell, 392; Alleghany, 440; and Ashe, 323.

As of Friday, 5,870 Wilkes residents had tested positive since the pandemic started.

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