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NC reports 25 new cases in Meck. This week’s average dipped below the prior one.

North Carolina health officials reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 in Mecklenburg on Sunday and county health officials said the total is now 1,183. Five additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported late Sunday, up from 24 as of Friday.

Earlier this month, from April 6 to 12, Mecklenburg County saw an average of 41 new cases announced per day by state health officials. In the past week, from April 13 to April 19, the county saw an average of 32 additional cases a day.

Health officials have said the day-to-day change in the Charlotte News number of cases will fluctuate, based on testing backlog, criteria for testing, and access to tests. Mecklenburg County’s health director has cautioned that the number of cases is a limited view, and that many people who have COVID-19 may not be tested.

In North Carolina, as of Sunday, there were more than 6,490 cases and at least 172 deaths, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services website. Nearly 79,000 coronavirus tests have been administered statewide, according to health officials. Mecklenburg County officials have said they do not know the exact number of tests performed locally.

Mecklenburg County officials say they are trying to expand their outreach efforts on coronavirus awareness to better include African Americans, who are disproportionately affected.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, around one-third of the county’s population is black. However, as of last week, black residents made up half of the county’s coronavirus-related deaths and disproportionately test positive for the virus, county data show.

Part of that disparity is due to “long standing gaps in access to health care and other resources,” according to Mecklenburg County’s “tool kit” that addresses why black residents have been harder hit. County officials also say a higher percentage of black residents work essential jobs — meaning they’ve likely had to continue to work outside their homes amid the virus outbreak — and live with health conditions that make COVID-19 symptoms more severe.

A few weeks ago, Charlotte hospital systems Atrium Health and Novant Health first told Mecklenburg County the COVID-19 peak would likely hit the area between mid-April and mid-May.

Now the same officials are saying they expect to see that Press Release Distribution Service In Charlotte peak on June 8 because social distancing efforts are starting to work. Tentative plans for a 600-bed field hospital in Charlotte have been called off.

“Our goal here is to have slow spread,” Atrium chief physician executive Dr. Scott Rissmiller told the Observer. “We’re not going to be able to stop it at this point, but we want slow spread so that people are exposed to it and develop immunity at a pace that our communities and health systems can support and keep up with.”

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