Johnston County announces 1st COVID-19 death; at least 3 reported in NC

Johnston County News

SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) — Johnston County Public Health officials announced Friday the county’s first COVID-19 associated death. It’s at least the third death in the state.

“It’s really sad,” said Yolanda Peacock, who lives in Springfield. “It’s starting to hit close to home.”

RELATED: Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in NC

According to county health officials, the person died on Thursday “from complications associated with the virus.” The patient was in their mid-60s and had underlying medical conditions.

“We didn’t know that this was gonna come about, we didn’t know when it was going to come,” Four Oaks resident Dee Cole said of the virus. “It just crept up on us.”

“We are saddened to hear of this loss to our Johnston County community and extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones,” said Johnston County Health Director Dr. Marilyn Pearson.

“Although most people will have mild to moderate symptoms with this virus, some will have a more severe illness. This reminds us all to do our part to decrease the chance of infection and stop the spread of the virus by following social distancing recommendations and staying home to the extent possible,” Pearson added.

This patient’s death is at least the third COVID-19 associated death in North Carolina.

Number of COVID-19 tests completed in North Carolina

  • March 18: 1,850
  • March 19: 2,505
  • March 20: 3,233
  • March 21: 5,276
  • March 22: 6,438
  • March 23: 8,438
  • March 24: 8,502
  • March 25: 10,489
  • March 26: 12,910
  • March 27: 15,136

As of Friday morning there were at least 763 positive coronavirus cases across the state and more than 15,135 tests have been completed.

A City of Raleigh employee who lived in Harnett County and was 37 years old died from the virus on Wednesday. Officials said he had an underlying medical condition. His family told CBS 17 he had high blood pressure.

The first coronavirus death of a North Carolina resident occurred on Tuesday when a person who lived in Cabarrus County died from complications, according to state officials. The person was in their late 70s and had underlying medical conditions.

COVID-19 timeline

  • March 3: NCDHHS announces state’s first COVID-19 case
  • March 10: Gov. Roy Cooper declares State of Emergency
  • March 11: World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic
  • March 13: President Donald Trump declares a National Emergency
  • March 14: Cooper issues Executive Order 117 closing K-12 public schools until at least March 30 and banning gatherings of more than 100 people
  • March 16: NCDHHS recommends no mass gatherings for more than 50 people
  • March 17: Cooper issues Executive Order 118 limiting operations of restaurants and bars, and broadening unemployment insurance benefits
  • March 23: Cooper issues Executive Order 120 which closes public K-12 schools through May 15 and orders businesses such as barbershops and salons to close.
  • March 25: North Carolina reports its first coronavirus-related deaths
  • March 29: Trump extends social distancing orders through the end of April
  • March 31: Cooper signs Executive Order 124 which prohibits utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during the pandemic.
  • April 7: Cooper will sign executive orders limiting customers in retailers and offers child care assistance to certain workers
  • April 14: Coronavirus-related deaths top 100 in North Carolina
  • April 24: Cooper extends stay-at-home order to May 8
  • May 5: Cooper announces Phase One of reopening will being May 8

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services still lists two deaths and 636 positive cases on their official website because numbers have not yet been updated on Friday.

There are at least nine cases of COVID-19 in Johnston County, according to state numbers.

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