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MONROE — The spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, which has been haunting Union County since March of 2020, is worse than ever. The 30 COVID-related deaths confirmed in Union County from Aug. 2 to Sept. 2 of 2021 is the most of any month since the pandemic reached the County roughly 18 months ago.

During a six-week period earlier this summer, Union County went without a reported COVID death, and the positivity rate among those being tested for the virus dropped to 1.8% in early July. But that was before the even more contagious Delta variant took hold.

Union County’s positivity rate, which experts like to see below 5% in an effort to control spread, has since ballooned and is now up to 17%.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports that over the past 14 days, Union County’s averaged just over 150 new COVID cases per day. Hospitalizations related to COVID were down into the single digits in June, but have since spiked to 59.

The cumulative number of COVID cases reported since March of 2020 is now up to 30,219 in Union County, which means roughly 12.5% of the County’s residents have tested positive for the virus.

The number of active cases in Union County has climbed up to 2,041, according to Union County Government’s COVID-19 Dashboard.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting the vaccine, which is free and readily available, for the sake of personal and public health.

Over the past five weeks, nearly 10,000 residents of the County have received at least the first dose of a vaccine for the virus, bringing the total number of County residents who are at least partially vaccinated up to 116,038 (48%), according to UC Government. The 48% partial vaccination for Union County ranks well below the nation’s percentage, which is hovering around 60%, according to a report by Reuters.

Across the state, DHHS reports 3,800 COVID-related hospitalizations as of Sept. 3, which is more than double what it was a month ago. The state has reported 14,708 COVID-related deaths and a daily positivity rate of 11.7% as of Sept. 3.