North Carolina pauses reopenings, Hamilton County extends them

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RALEIGH, North Carolina (WDEF) – Hamilton County may be in a Covid-19 bubble as the rest of our region copes with spiking coronavirus numbers.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced today that the state will pause their reopening schedule at Phase 2 as numbers have shot up.

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He also is mandating the wearing of face coverings in public places where you cannot socially distance.

Tennessee was also setting new record highs for cases last week and over the weekend.

Memphis has paused their reopenings, but rejected a request this week to roll back to Phase 1.

Bradley County saw it’s highest number of new cases on Tuesday.  There were 44 positive tests, but most were at the Bradley County jail.  The number returned to 13 new cases on Wednesday.

While Covid-19 deaths have gone up again in Hamilton County, the number of new cases and hospital cases have actually flattened out here in the last week.

County Mayor Jim Coppinger on Wednesday announced that outdoor playgrounds can now reopen with proper measures ( six feet of distance between children playing, hand sanitizer before and after use of playgrounds  and wearing masks.)

On Wednesday, the Health Department reported 68 new cases, which is considerably higher than we’ve seen over the last week.

Hospitalizations have been closely grouped in the 30s all this week and ICU numbers remain low compared to the spikes two weeks ago.