NCDHHS releases regional hospitalization data

HOLDING STEADY: Western North Carolina (orange line) has consistently reported fewer hospitalized COVID-19 patients than any other region over the past month, according to new data released by NCDHHS. Graphic courtesy of NCDHHS

Two days after North Carolina’s highest daily COVID-19 case increase yet — 2,481 new cases on July 18 — the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services unveiled an expanded dashboard detailing hospital capacity in different parts of the state. Of the 1,086 North Carolina patients hospitalized for COVID-19 on July 19 (the latest date for which information is available), 41 were in Western North Carolina, with 69% of regional hospitals reporting. 

The expanded data breaks hospitalization statistics into eight regions. The Mountain Area Healthcare Preparedness Coalition, which includes North Carolina’s 17 westernmost counties, has consistently reported fewer hospitalized COVID-19 patients than any other region over the past month. 

The new dashboard further outlines suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients admitted to adult inpatient hospital beds within the last 24 hours, as well as the number of intensive care unit beds filled by adults with COVID-19. In the MAHPC region, which serves 17 hospitals, 38 admitted patients were suspected to have the coronavirus and two patients confirmed to have COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, as of July 19. Regionally, 11 individuals with COVID-19 were in intensive care unit beds. 

The Metrolina Healthcare Preparedness Coalition, which includes the city of Charlotte, currently leads the state in all three of those metrics, with 105 suspected and 23 confirmed COVID-19 patients in the past 24 hours and 84 patients in the ICU. 

Statewide ventilator supply, inpatient hospital beds and ICU beds have not yet reached capacity. In the MAHPC region that includes Asheville, there remain 119 unused ventilators, 507 empty but staffed inpatient beds and 63 empty but staffed ICU beds. 

Aston Park COVID-19 outbreak officially over

The COVID-19 outbreak at Buncombe County’s Aston Park Health Care Center — the largest outbreak at a county skilled nursing home — is finally over, according to data released July 17 by NCDHHS. Since the facility’s first reported case on May 13, 52 staff members and 83 residents have contracted the coronavirus, and 30 residents have died.

A COVID-19 outbreak is considered over after 28 days with no evidence of continued disease spread within the facility, said Dr. Jennifer Mullendore, the county’s interim health director, during a July 9 press conference. An outbreak at Carolina Pines at Asheville, which infected six staff members, is also considered over. 

Unfortunately, Buncombe is still experiencing outbreaks at six nursing homes and three residential care facilities, according to NCDHHS data. Outbreaks have recently been reported at Givens Health Center, with two staff cases, and the Brooks-Howell Home, with three staff cases. 

Outbreaks continue at Black Mountain Neuro-Medical Treatment Center (three staff, two residents); Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation/Weaverville (two staff, one resident); Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community’s Simonds Health Care Center (10 staff, one staff death, four residents, one resident death); Stonecreek Health and Rehabilitation (five staff, eight residents); Harmony at Reynolds Mountain (two residents); Marjorie McCune Memorial Center (two residents) and the Richard A. Wood, Jr. Assisted Living Center at Givens Estates (three staff). 

“The increase in outbreaks at these facilities is a reflection of the increased [viral] spread we are seeing in our community,” Mullendore said at a July 16 press conference. 

In other news

  • All Ingles Markets locations will require customers to wear a face covering beginning Tuesday, July 21. The requirement will not apply to young children or customers who cannot wear a covering due to medical conditions. 
  • The N.C. State Board of Elections issued a COVID-19 emergency order on July 17 to help protect voters from infection by reducing the likelihood of long lines and crowds at polling locations. All North Carolina voters have the option to vote absentee by mail, in person at early voting sites or in person on Election Day. 
  • A-B Tech Community College will begin its fall semester on Monday, Aug. 24 under a hybrid plan: 75% of academic classes will be virtual, while 25% will have an in-person component for “hands-on training, clinical settings and labs.” 
  • The Buncombe County Register of Deeds office will be closed for decontamination until Wednesday, July 22, due to a confirmed staff case of COVID-19.

Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Molly Horak
Molly Horak served as a reporter at Mountain Xpress. Follow me @molly_horak

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

6 thoughts on “NCDHHS releases regional hospitalization data

  1. Grant Millin

    Hi Molly,

    When will NC COVID-19 dashboard data include casualties? Because only counting cases and deaths leave out casualties… which by the way are often new people with temporary / permeant disabilities. This is a huge area of omission? Especially with the 30th anniversary of the ADA?

    Feel free to contact Survivor Corps for a public perspective:

  2. C-Law

    90 out of 144 tests were false positives…63%. Primarily residents of LTC communities.

    Real Pandemics Don’t Require:

    -Faulty Virus Models
    -Rigged Test Results
    -Fraudulent and Inaccurate Reporting
    -Manipulated Death Statistics
    -Political Psy-ops Do…

    Covid-1984, brought to you by the same “experts” that created the vaccine to cure HIV/AIDS and correctly modeled and predicted global cooling in the 70s and global warming in the 80s and 90s!! Great work team!

      • C-Law

        None of the reported figures are trustworthy.

        That IS the point.

        All being used to provoke the fear response lin the herd and further the globalist technocratic oligarchy’s program for total control—social, financial, political, spiritual.

        Is the covid-1984 panic-demic the endgame?

        No, but it has been and continues to be manipulated masterfully to advance the beast system.

        Open your eyes to see and ears to hear.

        • bsummers

          Your buddy Trump today strongly advised people to wear masks, social distance etc., because “it will get worse before it gets better”. So, he’s in on it now?

          • C-Law

            Both the red and blue flavors of the koolaid are bad for ya Barry.

            Show me the group you belong to and I will show you your blind spot.

            I absolutely detest either political flavor and abstain from either. There is no viable 3rd flavor, so no-man’s land it is for old C-Law.

            Side note—Speaking of beverage preferences…for back-porch time I do enjoy some Four Roses Single Barrel and Glenmorangie 10 year. Neat, and served in a proper Glencairn glass, thank you…and maybe a bowl or two of the Old Toby or Longbottom Leaf as well! Music will be Battlefield Band, Old Blind Dogs, Altan, and maybe some Ricky Skaggs.

            I rarely if ever agree with any of your comments here (excepting clean water issues which I do tend to agree with you), however, I can say that you are not an unintelligent mind. I wish you might communicate things from a less apparently blindly partisan perspective.

            Demican/Republicrat same old ****…both wings of the bought and paid for Uniparty. The vast majority of US politicians live only to grow the government. They piss on the Constitution (which has been a dead letter for a looooong time) whenever it suits them. Bankster bailouts, waging numerous unlawful foreign wars and militarizing our police with the leftover materiel, asset forfeiture, unconstitutional law enforcement qualified immunity, the world’s largest prison population, wholly unconstitutional NSA surveillance, NDAA ‘authorizing’ all manner of tyranny, and on and on, ad nauseam. It’s a downward spiral of dwindling liberty and wealth regardless of which wing of the UniParty is officially in control. To look to the government for freedom is to misunderstand the true nature of government. Ultimately, we’ll have to save ourselves from the ground up – not the top down.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.