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More COVID -19 cases at ECU & Detention Center as health director addresses concerns

Health director talks rising cases with the Pitt County Board of Commissioners
Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 7:24 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - ECU reported 465 new students and 11 new employees tested positive for the coronavirus last week. Their data shows a cumulative total case number of 971.

The Pitt County Sheriffs Office also reported Monday a total of 20 inmates and 8 detention officers who tested positive at the Pitt County Detention Center.

Finally, Pitt County Schools reported 11 new positive cases at their schools as of last week.

With the rising cases, Pitt County’s health director Dr. John Silvernail addressed some concerns Monday afternoon with the county Board of Commissioners.

He said since Friday, the county has had 153 new cases and 2 more deaths. He said these cases are now skewing towards a younger crowd.

For Pitt County Schools, he said although their cases are going up, they haven’t identified ongoing transmission. This comes after the Pitt County Board of Education did not follow Silvernail’s recommendation to shut down in-person learning.

Silvernail also addressed the cases at the detention center. He explained that although there were different possibilities for how the virus initially got inside two weeks ago, he said the most likely scenario was that a guard brought it in while masks were not enforced.

“It’s possible that an asymptomatic employee brought that into work with them,” said Silvernail. “Prior to this, they weren’t all consistently wearing masks. It was a part-time choice to wear a mask or not wear a mask, I believe.”

Overall, Silvernail reported that almost 2% of the county has been infected with the virus.

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