New coronavirus cases reported in North Carolina on Monday dropped for the fourth day in a row, to 1,313.
According to the state Department of Health and Human Services 126,532 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus since March. The official total is likely an undercount, because in the early months of the pandemic, tests were rationed.
DHHS reported Monday that 105,093 people in the state are presumed recovered from COVID-19. The estimate is based on when people were tested and whether or not they were hospitalized.
Testing became more widely available, and in recent weeks state officials have encouraged testing, particularly for people in marginalized communities and for those who have jobs where social distancing is difficult. As of Monday, more than 1.8 million people in the state have been tested.
Seven percent of total tests were positive on Monday. The World Health Organization advised that a positivity rate of less than 5% over two weeks is an indication that viral spread is under control.
As of Sunday, 1,057 people were reported hospitalized due to COVID-19 with 79% of hospitals reporting, the DHHS reported Monday. That’s 85 fewer than Saturday’s reported count of 1,142.
The state has been in Phase Two of Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan to gradually loosen restrictions on business and leisure activities. Phase Two, which allowed restaurant dining rooms to open at 50% capacity and allowed personal care businesses such as salons and barbershops to reopen, was originally set to end in mid-July. Cooper extended Phase Two to at least Aug. 7 because of coronavirus trends he called “troubling.”
Cooper said Monday during a news conference with reporters that he will announce an update Wednesday.
DHHS says its COVID-19 data, including hospitalizations, is preliminary and subject to revision.
DHHS reported 1,982 total COVID-19 deaths Monday, up 13 from Sunday.
NC dealing with Isaias and coronavirus
The state is dealing with the double emergency of the coronavirus pandemic and Tropical Storm Isaias, which is expected to land in North Carolina as a hurricane.
State emergency officials have advised people who must evacuate to look first to stay with family or friends, or to stay in hotels. Shelter space will be limited because of the pandemic, and people will be screened for coronavirus symptoms before they enter, The News & Observer reported. Shelters will require face coverings, according to the state Department of Public Safety.
To guard against spread of the coronavirus, emergency kits should include masks, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, state officials advised.
This story was originally published August 03, 2020 1:20 PM.