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Of the now 942 total positive cases of the novel coronavirus reported today since testing began in March there have been 885 recoveries, the Halifax County Health Department reported today.

In terms of percentages, the 885 represent 93.9 percent of the total positive cases. There are 40 — 4.2 percent — current cases.

There have been 17 related deaths — 14 in the Roanoke Rapids area ZIP code; two in the Weldon area ZIP code; and one in the Weldon area ZIP code.

The county in its report today added nine new positives since Wednesday’s report, which brings the cumulative positives to 942.

Despite an increase since Wednesday’s report, the overall trend of positive cases continues to decrease.

The health department encourages residents to continue to practice the three Ws — waiting six feet apart, handwashing and wearing a facial covering. “Improving your compliance with the three Ws now will both better educate children as to how to practice them. Please take this opportunity to protect our children and each other very seriously,” the health department said. 

North Carolina Rural Center

Following the most recent pandemic recovery legislation signed by Roy Cooper last week, the center reports  the NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program now allows businesses to borrow up to $250,000 with no payments and 0.25 percent interest for the first 18 months. 

The loan’s terms have also changed from a 60-month repayment term to a 102-month repayment term. “We are urging small businesses and family farms in need of assistance to consider applying for this program to sustain or adapt their business to the realities of the pandemic,” the center said.

The application can be found at this link and applicants can contact this This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request help with completing their loan application.

The application deadline for this program is October 15.

To date, the loan program has administered more than 1,000 Rapid Recovery loans, totaling more than $37 million. 

Currently, 64 percent of the approved NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery loans are to historically underutilized businesses, which are primarily women- and minority-owned businesses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 31 percent of employer businesses in North Carolina meet the HUB definition. 

Additionally, of the loans made, approximately 77 percent have been to businesses with fewer than 10 employees.