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Union County -- There have been 15,191 cumulative cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the county, as of Tuesday (Jan. 12) at 11:40 a.m., according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) COVID-19 Dashboard. Cumulative cases indicate both those who have tested positive and those who have come out of an isolation period.

There were 175 new cases confirmed on Tuesday and three new virus-related deaths.

As of Tuesday, there have been 119 virus-related deaths in the county in just over 9 months -- the first one was reported on April 9, 2020, according to NC DHHS. On Monday, the county’s positivity rate was at 20.1% which is 5.4% higher than the state. There are a record 65 current hospitalizations, according to the county government.

According to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, any positivity rate above 5% is classified as too high and indicates that more testing should probably be done."

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health reports: "When there is not enough testing in an area, people who are infected with coronavirus don’t get counted, and they don’t know to isolate themselves. As a result, these people can spread the coronavirus and cause disease in their communities."

For context, the United States Census Bureau estimates there were about 240,000 people living in Union County as of July 1, 2019. More than 6% of Union County residents have caught the highly-contagious virus.

Across the state, there have been 635,975 total cases and 7,635 virus-related deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Medicine's Dashboard.