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SPINDALE — While the county’s COVID-19 cases are trending downward, state data show Rutherford’s death toll has climbed to 338 as of Friday.

Tuesday’s update by the Rutherford County Health Department revealed there had been two more COVID deaths since the previous week’s update. On Friday, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services dashboard shows that two more have died from the coronavirus since Tuesday.

Rutherford has had a total of 11,730 cases. The county’s 14-day positivity rate had been consistently improving, but this week showed a slight bump to 5.2%, or a gain of 1% over last week.

County residents with at least one dose of the vaccine improved to 43%, an increase of 1% since last week. Those fully vaccinated remain at 39%.

Health leaders warn there could be a winter surge with new COVID-19 cases as several states are already experiencing spikes in new cases.

Add holiday gatherings between Thanksgiving and Christmas and an additional bump in cases could loom.

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