SPINDALE — Statistics show the recent spree of coronavirus infections in Rutherford County may be slowing or at least leveling off, according to state data.

Although the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported Friday that the county suffered another COVID-19 fatality, bringing the total number of deaths at 156, other numbers suggest the community spread is lessening. At 16.8%, Rutherford’s positivity rate continues to slowly descend; however, the rate remains higher than the state average.

Friday’s report included another 37 new cases, slightly more than Thursday but fewer than recent days. Rutherford County has had 5,869 positive cases so far.