By Dave Russell


Jackson County’s reported COVID-19 cases increased by 7.96 percent since last Tuesday, as the overall trend continues to be upward. Last Thursday 36 cases were reported to the Jackson County Department of Public Health, the fourth-highest daily total.

The county currently has 100 people isolating due to COVID-19 infection. That’s down from 136 last week.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the health department reported 1,139 cases among full-time residents, an increase of 84 cases from 1,055 a week earlier.

The county is holding at seven deaths. The county has had 258 cases per 10,000 residents, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

DHHS on Tuesday reported 280,307 statewide cases (up from 248,750 last week) and 4,457 deaths (up from 4,211 last week) in the state.

Nationwide, cases numbered 9,268,818 and deaths 230,893 as of Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Western Carolina University’s dashboard ( reports 36 new cases among students and one new employee case the week of Oct. 26-Nov. 1.

The dashboard showed 67 new student cases the previous week.

Since July 1 there have been 332 cases among students, nine among employees and five among sub-contractors.

WCU reports 211 students in self isolation/quarantine, including 15 on campus. That’s down from 269 last week.

The Jackson County Public Schools dashboard ( tracks positive cases among staff and students. There have been 14 student cases, with one active as of Wednesday morning. One of the eight reported staff cases is active.

The Jackson County Department of Public Health last Wednesday announced a COVID-19 cluster at the Shepherd Early Education and Preschool child care center on Grindstaff Cove Road in Sylva.

Seven individuals tested positive for COVID-19, and all followed isolation orders, the health department said in a release.

The department conducted contact tracing to identify any additional close contacts of the individuals.

“From the moment we knew of a positive case at the Shepherd Early Education and Preschool, we reached out to the Jackson County Department of Public Health for help,” Southwestern Child Development Center Direct Service Manager Annette Shook said last week. “We have closed for 14 days to allow time for contact tracing, quarantine and cleaning of the facility. The safety of our children has been and continues to be a priority for us.”