LUMBERTON — The Robeson County Health Department reported 24 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.
The new cases brings the total number of confirmed cases in the county to 929. Twenty-six county residents have died after contracting the novel coronavirus.
Thursday’s total includes 16 females and eight males. The oldest person among the new cases was 94 years old and the youngest, 9.
Ten of the cases were Hispanic, five were American Indian, four were African American and three were white. Two of the case reports did not list race.
The local hospital tested 11 of the cases. Eight were tested at a drive-through site operated by a local private health-care provider. Four were tested at a local private health-care provider, and one was tested outside Robeson County.
As of Thursday, Southeastern Regional Medical Center has 26 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 in isolation, and 12 employees are in quarantine, according to its website.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported on Thursday the biggest one-day jump of confirmed COVID-19 cases, 1,189. as of Thursday there are 31,966 cases in the state, and there have been 960 COVID-19-related deaths.
The NCDHHS on Thursday launched new initiatives to expand COVID-19 testing and contact tracing across the state.
North Carolinians can now access new online tools to determine if they should consider being tested for COVID-19 and find a nearby testing place. The tool will also help individuals monitor their symptoms if they have tested positive for or been exposed to COVID-19. In addition, NCDHHS launched a new platform to integrate contact tracing efforts across the state under the COVID-19 Community Team.
North Carolina contact tracing is being conducted by experienced and trained local health department staff and other COVID-19 Community Team members, according to the state health agency. Last week, the Community Team met its initial goal to hire and train 250 additional contact tracers who collectively are reflective of the racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity of North Carolina.
Residents can find a local testing place at www.ncdhhs.gov/TestingPlace, a public website that allows people to enter their county or ZIP code and access a list of nearby testing site locations online.
Sonny Perdue, U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary, announced Thursday that the federal agency has already approved more than $545 million in payments to producers who have applied for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
The FSA began taking applications this past week and the agency has received more than 86,000 applications for the relief program.
“The coronavirus has hurt America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers, and these payments directed by President Trump will help this critical industry weather the current pandemic so they can continue to plant and harvest a safe, nutritious, and affordable crop for the American people,” Perdue said. “We have tools and resources available to help producers understand the program and enable them to work with Farm Service Agency staff to complete applications as smoothly and efficiently as possible and get payments into the pockets of our patriotic farmers.”
In the first six days of the application period, FSA has made payments to more than 35,000 producers.
The assistance program will accept applications through Aug. 28. Through the program, the USDA is making available $16 billion in financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a price decline of 5% or greater because of COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.
New customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee.