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Virus rules eased even as cases climb

LOUISBURG -- As the state prepared to ease restrictions on movement and gatherings prompted by COVID-19, Franklin County experienced two of its highest single-day reports of confirmed coronavirus cases.

At the same time, the county has not experienced any new deaths in at least a week, resources are on the way to help tracing, and outbreaks at two nursing centers appear to be under control, said Franklin County Health Director Scott LaVigne.

At press time, there were 129 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 20 deaths -- 19 residents at Louisburg Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center and one person from the general community.

Beyond Louisburg Healthcare, Louisburg Manor reported an outbreak with three positive cases.

"As of today," LaVigne said Monday, "only those three have tested positive. The rest tested negative.

"All of the positive cases are no longer at the Manor ... and they have more than sufficient supplies of [personal protective equipment].

"I anticipate that the facility will be able to contain the outbreak," he said. "That's very good news.

"... At [Louisburg Healthcare] that outbreak also appears to be in containment.

"... Overall, I'm pretty happy with where those two facilities are at."

On May 12, the county's health board took another step to bolster the efforts to mitigate coronavirus cases at congregate care facilities.

The board, LaVigne said, voted to "implement a very rigorous coronavirus testing program" for congregate care facilities in the county.

The aggressive plan calls for the testing of all staff and residents in skilled nursing facilities across the county.

"... It's a very important first step in the prevention of the coronavirus outbreaks and the effort will move to other congregate care facilities within Franklin County in the coming week," LaVigne said.

"The goal is to ensure as low as possible an impact on congregate care facilities because they contain our most vulnerable populations."

Overall, LaVigne said the state is working to provide the county with more people to perform contact tracing -- reaching out to people who may have been in contact with someone who's tested positive for COVID-19 to slow the spread.

The county is also working to secure volunteer medical students to help with the effort.

"Hopefully, in conjunction with the state's increased number of contact tracers, we should be able to meet the demand," LaVigne said.

Finally, as the state prepares to enter Phase 2 restrictions -- with the expected lifting of the stay-at-home order, the county's curfew would expire.

"The largest number of calls we get are related to the curfew," LaVigne said. "The stay-at-home order does stop with Phase 2.

"It appears the curfew would sunset at that time."


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Members Opinions:
May 23, 2020 at 8:12am
Caesar Cooper swore an oath to support the Constitution of the United States. The US Constitution forbids government from interfering with the people’s unalienable right of assembly and prohibits government interfering with the exercise of religion. Art. 1, Sec. 13, of the Constitution of North Carolina prohibits government from interfering with with religion. Art. 1, Sec. 12 guarantees the right of assembly. Caesar Cooper also swore to support and defend the Constitution of North Carolina. So, why is he deliberately violating his oath of office? What penalty will he suffer for this violation? He has made himself a dictator who rules by edict.



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