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Clusters continue to plague area facilities

RANDOLPH COUNTY — Eleven current outbreaks of COVID-19 in local congregate living facilities and an increase in individual cases continue to draw the attention of Randolph County officials, even as vaccines are being administered.

Ten long-term care facilities, including GrayBrier Nursing and Rehab in Trinity, have reported outbreaks, and another in the Randolph County Detention Center account for a total of 558 cases and 36 deaths. Randolph’s total death toll stands at 166, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

The NCDHHS congregate living outbreak report on Jan. 22 indicated that GrayBrier has had 152 individuals test positive for COVID-19, 70 staff members and 82 residents. Of those, two staff members and 17 residents from the facility reportedly died.

The jail has seen its number grow to 70 cases, 52 inmates among them. No deaths were reported as of the end of the week.

According to the NCDHHS, Archdale’s 27263 zip code has reported 1,579 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, 28 of whom have died. Sophia’s 27350 zip has tallied 407 cases and five deaths. In Trinity, the 27370 zip has recorded 1,112 cases. A total of 25 of those individuals died.

Due to continual shifting of health department resources toward preventative measures, contact tracing is not available in the way the department was conducting it throughout the pandemic. The health department can no longer accurately report the number of individuals cleared from isolation or the number of those hospitalized.

Statewide, however, the NCDHHS reported that 3,287 people were hospitalized as of Monday. Of the 723,445 total cases, 8,762 had died.

Randolph County is currently vaccinating parts of Group 1 — all healthcare workers — and Group 2, which includes individuals 65 years of age and older. Eligible residents are encouraged to call the appointment line number at 336-365-6110.

Health officials ask those who would like to be vaccinated keep in mind that the health department has an extremely limited supply of the vaccine and that the appointment line call volume remains very high.

Official statewide data on the COVID-19 pandemic is available at https://www.ncdhhs.gov/covid-19-case-count-nc. Anyone with questions related to COVID-19 or who needs to know local testing sites can call the Randolph County Health Department at 336-318-6200.

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at dkennedy@atnonline.net.

Trinity boys earn win, girls suffer loss
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HIGH POINT — Trinity hasn’t had much opportunity to practice early this season. So the results haven’t been what it would like.

But the Bulldogs are coming around.

Trinity, after a lengthy delay in starting its season and three subsequent losses, picked up its first win by beating rival T.W. Andrews 71-53 in PAC-7 2A boys basketball last week in Andrews’ Foree Gymnasium.

In the girls game, the Lady Raiders built a big lead early and steadily pulled away to beat the Bulldogs 48-29.

“That’s the best we’ve played all year,” Trinity coach Tim Kelly Sr. said. “Now, we missed 28 days. And going into our first game we only had six practices. Now we’re finally … we’re still not where we should be. We made some mistakes tonight, but we did some good things.

“We’re just excited we got that first win,” he said with a laugh. “We made better decisions, shot the ball a little bit better. We’ve been getting looks and struggling. We’re really young — only two seniors got time. So, when you miss 28 days, I’m still trying to get to know them and they’re trying to get to know me.

“This was good for us. This is a hard place to play — I’ve been coming here a lot of years, and I’ve brought some really good teams over here and gotten my butt spanked. So, we’re just happy to get the win.”

Ben Owens scored 32 points to lead Trinity (1-3 overall, 1-3 conference), which opened its schedule Jan. 15 — almost a full two weeks after the scheduled date — after dual stoppages because of coronavirus protocols. Garrett Moser added 11 points while Dominic Payne had nine points.

“I felt like we played really well,” Owens said. “We played really well together and trusted each other. I just told my teammates that, if I got hot, just get me the ball when I was open. And we just played really well as a team.”

The Bulldogs outscored Andrews 14-4 over the final 6 1/2 minutes of the second quarter to lead 34-24 into halftime. They stretched their advantage to 18 three times in the third before taking a 52-37 lead into the final quarter. They maintained a double-digit lead into the last six minutes of the game.

“Tonight we just all talked and trusted each other — you shoot, I shoot and just believing your shot will go in,” Owens said. “And I think a lot of us just trusted ourselves. Like Garrett took it to the rack a lot of times, got steals. We talked well on defense, rotated. We had some bad plays and some bad calls, but we battled through it and got the win. That’s all that matters.”


Kireatha Baker scored 14 points while Ashley Bowman followed with eight points for Andrews (4-1, 4-1), which — forcing misses and turnovers on defense and getting to the basket on offense — led 16-4 after one quarter and 31-14 at halftime.

Andrews stretched their lead to 26 in the second half.

Autumn Gentry scored 14 points, while Hannah Lewis added seven points for Trinity (0-4, 0-3), which moved the ball better and appeared more poised against pressure compared to previous years. It’s just a matter of continuing to make progress, coach Mike Sink said.

“I thought quarter for quarter we did better. We improved some,” he said. “We were able to run some of our sets. Andrews is a good team. I think the girls felt a little more comfortable tonight. They’re still young and learning the game, so I’m proud of them.

“Every practice we just try to implement things. They really didn’t understand the game and now they’re learning it. I just feel like they’re getting more comfortable on the floor. A year ago, it was ‘deer in the headlights.’ They didn’t understand where to go, what to do. Now they understand that. That’s a big plus for them.”

Trinity receives clean audit report

TRINITY — A financial audit presented by an accountant from Winston-Salem-based Gibson and Company at the January meeting of Trinity City Council indicated the city is in good financial standing.

The audit, completed June 30, 2020, detailed the city’s financials for the 2019-20 Fiscal Year. In addressing council, Monty Pendry, who performed the audit for the year, said the city has put itself in a favorable position relative to cities in comparable situations.

“We’ve audited the financial statements of the city of Trinity as of June 30, 2020, and in our opinion, the financial statements present fairly the financial position of the city of Trinity,” Pendry said. “This is what we call our unmodified opinion, or clean opinion, which is the best opinion we can issue.”

The city’s total assets came to $36.8 million, exceeding its liabilities, which totaled $12.9 million, to leave the city with a net position of roughly $23.9 million. Its unassigned fund balance — or the money on which no external or internal constraints exist — stood at approximately $6.5 million for the 2019-20 FY.

“This is about 237% of your general fund expenditures,” Pendry said. “The Local Government Commission likes to see at least 8% there as a cushion, so the city is well above that.”

The city was slightly over budget for revenues and under budget for expenses. Based on the report, the city has a “very strong balance sheet,” according to Pendry, who offered additional comparative information about Trinity as opposed to other municipalities.

According to the Local Government Commission, Trinity’s population was 6,599 as of June 30, 2019. That places the city in the category that consists of towns with populations between 2,500 and 9,999 people.

Trinity’s total unassigned fund balance is twice the average for cities in its category. Average unassigned fund balance ratio for that category is 77.89%, whereas Trinity’s is 237%, placing the city well above average.

The full financial report will soon be available online at www.trinity-nc.gov.

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at dkennedy@atnonline.net.