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COVID-19 Blog: NCDHHS reports a total of 564,924 cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina

Nearly half of all North Carolina counties have 'critical' spread, per the last county update on December 22.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Get the latest COVID-19 updates from Gov. Roy Cooper and the state task force, health departments, universities, school districts, and more in this story. We'll put North Carolina's COVID-19 numbers in context for you, and explain what it could mean for the reopening process. Call the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 866-462-3821 or 2-1-1 for immediate questions.  

SUNDAY, JANUARY 3, 2021

12:55 p.m. According to the NCDHHS there are a total of 6,910 deaths in North Carolina due to COVID. 

12:52 p.m. NCDHHS reports 3,576 total hospitalizations in NC due to COVID as of Sunday at 11:55 a.m.

12:50 p.m. As of 11:55 a.m., the NCDHHS reports a total of 564,924 cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina. 

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2020

Noon -- North Carolina has had 539,545 coronavirus cases since the onset of the pandemic. Hospitalizations have stayed above 3,000 since December 21.

Nearly half of all North Carolina counties have 'critical' spread, per the last county update on December 22. The state continues Phase 1a of vaccine distribution. This phase includes health care workers and long-term care staff and residents. Gov. Roy Cooper and the Coronavirus Task Force on Wednesday announced a vaccine distribution plan.

Statewide numbers: 

  • Total cases (including recoveries): 539,545
  • New cases: 6,715
  • Hospitalizations: 3,472
  • Total deaths: 6,748
  • Total tests: 6.89M
  • Percent positive: 13.4%
  • Average testing turnaround time: 2.9 days

County  breakdown:

  • Alamance: 10,397 cases, 117 deaths
  • Davidson: 8,700 cases, 85 deaths
  • Davie: 2,112 cases, 13 deaths
  • Forsyth: 20,643 cases, 221 deaths
  • Guilford: 24,500 cases, 312 deaths
  • Randolph: 8,048 cases, 123 deaths
  • Rockingham: 4,432 cases, 25 deaths
  • Surry: 4,430 cases, 75 deaths
  • Wilkes: 3,877 cases, 72 deaths
  • Yadkin: 2,377 cases, 28 deaths

10 a.m. -- Wake Forest infectious disease expert Dr. Christopher Ohl talks about coronavirus in the Triad.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2020

2 p.m. -- Gov. Roy Cooper and the Coronavirus Task Force gave an update on COVID-19 and announced vaccine distribution plans on Wednesday. 

  • Gov. Cooper extended the eviction moratorium through January 31. 
  • Testing numbers were down over the holiday, but COVID-19 hospitalizations rose to new records. 
  • State officials said if you gathered with anyone over the holidays that you don't live with, you should assume you have COVID-19, get tested, and quarantine to prevent spread. 
  • State officials said the spread is critical in North Carolina, and the White House task force is now recommending people ages 65 and older don't gather indoors with others not wearing masks, and get groceries and prescriptions delivered. 
  • North Carolina is currently in Phase 1a of vaccine distribution. Health care workers caring for COVID-19 patients, long-term care staff and residents are currently receiving the vaccine. 

Vaccine Distribution Plan: 

Phase 1A: Health care workers fighting COVID-19 & long-term care staff and residents 

  • Health care workers caring for and working directly with patients with COVID-19, including staff responsible for cleaning and maintenance in those areas
  • Health care workers administering vaccine
  • Long-term care staff and residents—people in skilled nursing facilities and in adult, family and group homes.

Phase 1B: Adults 75+ and frontline essential workers

The vaccines will go out in this phase in the following order:

  • Group 1: Anyone 75 years or older, regardless of health status or living situation
  • Group 2: Health care workers and frontline essential workers 50 years or older
    The CDC defines frontline essential workers as first responders (e.g., firefighters and police officers), corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the education sector (teachers and support staff members) as well as child care workers.
  • Group 3: Health care workers and frontline essential workers of any age

Phase 2: Adults at high risk for exposure and at increased risk of severe illness

Vaccinations will happen by group in the following order:

  • Group 1: Anyone 65-74 years old, regardless of health status or living situation
  • Group 2: Anyone 16-64 years old with high-risk medical conditions that increase risk of severe disease from COVID such as cancer, COPD, serious heart conditions, sickle cell disease, Type 2 diabetes, among others, regardless of living situation
  • Group 3: Anyone who is incarcerated or living in other close group living settings who is not already vaccinated due to age, medical condition or job function.
  • Group 4: Essential workers not yet vaccinated.
    The CDC defines these as workers in transportation and logistics, water and wastewater, food service, shelter and housing (e.g., construction), finance (e.g., bank tellers), information technology and communications, energy, legal, media, and public safety (e.g., engineers), and public health workers.

Phase 3: Students

  • College and university students
  • K-12 students age 16 and over. Younger children will only be vaccinated when the vaccine is approved for them.

Phase 4: Everyone who wants the vaccine

State officials believe this could be around springtime.

1 p.m. -- North Carolina reported a new high of 8,551 COVID-19 cases in a single day. However, it's hard to say if it's a new record. NCDHHS is reporting technical issues with its online COVID dashboard. So, Wednesday's numbers are higher than they would have been because they represent 36 hours of data. NCDHHS says Thursday's numbers will appear lower because they will represent only 12 hours of data. 

STATEWIDE NUMBERS:

  • New cases: 8,551 
  • Percent positive: 14.8%
  • Total cases: 532,830
  • Total deaths: 6,729
  • Current hospitalizations: 3,339 
  • Testing turnaround: 2.9 days

FACTS NOT FEAR

Remember facts, not fear when talking about the coronavirus. You should take the safety measures recommended by health leaders to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Abide by the three W's. That means wearing a mask, washing your hands, and waiting at least six feet from another person. You also want to avoid touching your face and make sure to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw it away.

WHERE YOU GET INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS IS IMPORTANT

It is important to make sure the information you are getting about the coronavirus is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS. Be careful not to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media. 

For more information visit the CDC OR NCDHHS website. 

NC CORONAVIRUS HOTLINE 

The state also has a special hotline set up where you can call 866-462-3821 for more information on the coronavirus. You can also submit questions online at ncpoisoncontrol.org or select chat to talk with someone about the virus.

You can also text keyword VIRUS to WFMY News 2 at 336-379-5775 for the latest.

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