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Burke County reported 19 new positive cases of COVID-19 between Friday and Saturday and its 15th death related to the virus.

On Saturday, the state reported the highest one-day increase of positive cases.

Burke County reported a total of 270 cases Saturday afternoon, up from 251 cases Thursday and 259 cases reported Friday. County health officials say the rise in cases is due to community spread and more testing.

The state reported 1,107 new cases Saturday, its highest one-day number of COVID-19 cases.

Burke County Public Health said it was notified late Thursday of the COVID-19-associated death in the county.

The person was in their 80s and was hospitalized but died from complications associated with their underlying medical conditions, the health department said.

“We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of this individual,” said Rebecca McLeod, director of the Burke County Health Department. “It is imperative for residents to know that as more of the community begins to open, it is still important for these recommendations to become your new normal: Wear a cloth face covering when out in public and cannot physically distance yourself from others, wait at least 6 feet away from others, and wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer if you do not have access to soap and water.”

The county says of the 270 positive cases recorded so far, 104 have recovered, which accounts for 39.1 percent of the cases. Three people remain hospitalized in the county, according to county information.

A rumor some are spreading is that a person who has tested positive is tested multiple times and each time is counted as a positive test.

That’s not the case, say county health officials.

Lisa Moore, public information officer for Burke County, said each positive case is an individual resident of the county.

Moore said there has only been one person who was medically cleared of the virus who has tested positive a second time, making that person a new positive case.

When individuals are required to have tests to return to work and they are positive, they are not counted as new cases, but already have been counted, she said.

Moore said the number of positive cases will continue to rise as long as residents don’t follow the recommended preventive measures to help keep those at highest risk safer, along with trying to curb the spread of the infection.

The latest update from the state of its data on outbreaks at nursing homes across the state reported a slight increase in one of the Burke nursing homes.

The state reported a total of eight positive cases of the virus at Autumn Care of Drexel, with the cases split evenly between residents and staff members. The nursing home has had one death associated with the virus.

Grace Heights Health and Rehabilitation has a total of 85 positive cases, with 54 of those cases being residents and 31 being staff members. The nursing home has had 12 deaths associated with the virus.

Statewide, there are outbreaks in 83 nursing homes with 2,811 positive cases of COVID-19 and 386 associated deaths.

The state reported Saturday a total of 22,725 positive cases of COVID-19, as well as 589 people hospitalized due to the virus and 737 deaths.

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