Todd Runkle, Asheville Citizen Times
Published 10:18 a.m. ET June 6, 2020 | Updated 6:45 p.m. ET June 6, 2020
ASHEVILLE – As of noon June 6, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services tallied 34,625 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide. That’s an increase of 1,370 from the previous day
That number differs slightly from the Johns Hopkins University report in the graphic above.
NCDHHS counts a total of 992 deaths associated with lab-tested COVID-19 statewide, with 708 hospitalized across the state.
As of about noon June 6, Buncombe County reported 384 total cases and 33 deaths.
Most of Buncombe’s deaths continue to be in nursing homes.
Confirmed cases in other Western North Carolina counties, according to state counts:
- Avery: 3 case, 0 deaths.
- Cherokee: 21 cases, 1 death.
- Clay: 5 cases, 0 deaths.
- Graham: 4 cases, 0 deaths.
- Haywood: 59 cases, 0 deaths.
- Henderson: 368 cases, 47 deaths.
- Jackson: 44 cases, 1 death.
- Macon: 120 cases, 1 death.
- Madison: 3 cases, 0 deaths.
- McDowell: 95 cases, 1 death.
- Mitchell: 14 cases, 0 deaths.
- Polk: 47 cases, 4 deaths.
- Swain: 25 cases, 0 deaths.
- Transylvania: 16 cases, 1 deaths.
- Watauga: 38 cases, 0 deaths.
- Yancey: 21 cases, 0 deaths.
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Takeaways from Buncombe briefing
As interim health director Dr. Jennifer Mullendore spoke June 4 about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Buncombe County, she asked the community to “keep working together” to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Mackenzie Wicker reports on five key points made by Mullendore during the briefing, including the disproportional impact of the virus on black, indigenous and people of color; a drive to have widespread testing at long-term care facilities; the pandemics impact on emotional and mental health; and more.
2 Asheville firefighters test positive
Two Asheville firefighters tested positive for COVID-19 this past week, causing a 12-hour closure for cleaning of the fire stations and trucks, and sending into quarantine firefighters who had come into close contact with those infected, according to fire officials.
Karen Chávez reports that while Asheville Fire Department spokeswoman Kelley Klope said measures are being taken to protect the roughly 280 firefighters from contracting the deadly disease, some firefighters say the department is not doing enough and is not following state guidelines to protect firefighters, who are already risking their lives daily to protect the public.
Drive-thru testing in Madison County
A drive-thru testing event in the Spring Creek community of Madison County screened 50 individuals for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
Paul Moon reports that the free testing event open to anyone, including non-Madison County residents and those showing no symptoms, was the first offered by the Madison County Health Department since the onset of the pandemic.
A second free and open screening event is scheduled for Thursday, June 11 from 6-8 p.m. outside Hot Springs Elementary School.
Pools, Splashville to remain closed
Asheville’s public pools and popular interactive fountain Splashville will be closed for the summer amid concerns for COVID-19, city officials announced June 5.
This includes the Recreation Park, Malvern Hills Park and Walton Street Park pools as well as Splasheville in Pack Square Park.
“Attempting to operate the pools this season would not be feasible logistically or most importantly from a safety standpoint,” the city said in a statement.
Answer Man looks into masks at the Ingles distribution center
Question: Ignoring obvious safety issues regarding inhibited breathing and impaired vision, how can Ingles supply employees with a single mask and force them to wear it in a warehouse environment for an entire shift, while the Centers for Disease Control recommends a new mask every time a face-covering becomes wet or soiled?
Answer: “Ingles has taken the initiative to both require and provide face masks for all associates,” said Ron Freeman, Ingles Markets chief financial officer. “We also maintain a supply of face masks at our distribution center should an associate arrive at work without a mask or soil a mask while working.”
Read further for Answer Man’s smart-aleck answer and more details.
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