This week marks the third in a row that the infection rate has stayed over 9% — nearly twice what experts believe is an acceptable level. An ideal rate would be 5% or less, considered a relatively safe level that public health experts say shows a community has harnessed some control over the spread of the highly infectious disease.
An infection rate of 9.4% positive means that 9.4% of individuals tested in the county were found to be positive for the novel coronavirus.
Such a percent positive rate is a snapshot of the prominence of disease in a region, and it can fluctuate throughout the weeks and months.
On Friday, the county of 91,000 had recorded 1,296 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the global pandemic. By Tuesday, the number had increased by 118 to 2,414, a growth rate of 5.13% over four days.
In better news, the county’s hospitalizations dropped to 11 on Tuesday after weeks of fluctuating between 15 – 39. Thus far, 29 inidividuals have died from COVID-19, nearly all of whom were senior citizens who suffered from underlying health conditions.
As Rockingham County struggles with its infection rates and sees a reluctance among many citizens to consistently wear masks and social distance, surrounding counties are doing a better job with control.
More urban surrounding areas like Guilford and Forsyth have held their COVID-19 infection rates at safer levels below 7%, state public health statistics show. The statewide average infection rate stands at about 7%.