COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in North Carolina.
The Sampson County Health Department is reporting 15 new cases, bringing the total positive cases to date to 2,956.
There have been 31 deaths countywide.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,425 new COVID-19 cases 50 more deaths, a sharp increase in both metrics as North Carolina’s key indicators continue to trend in the wrong direction.
The spike in new cases was accompanied by just 24,025 more completed tests, the lowest increase in six days. At the same time, the percentage of positive tests climbed to 7.4% after several days around 6%.
Currently, 1,186 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, an increase of 11 patients from Tuesday.
The Halifax County Health Department reports 15 new cases for a total of 1,522 positive COVID 19 cases.
There have been 29 deaths countywide — or 1.9% of cases.
WEDNESDAY MORNING HEADLINES
As COVID-19 metrics continue to trend in the wrong direction in North Carolina, Wake County is expanding access to free COVID-19 drive-thru test sites.
In a news release, the county announced two new test sites will open in downtown and southeast Raleigh this weekend: one at the Raleigh Gethsemane Seventh-Day Adventist Church and one at Davie Street Presbyterian Church.
The test sites will operate this weekend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Those who want a test must sign up in advance for an appointment online here.
Officials at Raleigh Gethsemane will also hand out 50 emergency food boxes each day on a first-come, first-served basis to people receiving a COVID-19 test.
“We want to make testing easily available in the communities where access may be limited – such as southeast Raleigh or near downtown,” said Wake County medical director Dr. Kim McDonald in a written statement. “Partnering with these churches will allow people who need a COVID-19 test to get one conveniently and safely.”
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 67 more people have died from COVID-19, the highest single-day increase since late March, when the state reported its first death.
The increase in deaths comes as the state rpeorts 2,349 new COVID-19 cases and 25,125 more completed tests, a decrease from the past five days. On Sunday, the percentage of positive tests increased to 6.8%.
Currently, 1,175 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, the 23rd day in a row hospitalizations have remained above 1,100 people statewide. In the past 24 hours, 262 suspected COVID-19 patients have been admitted to hospitals.
A Central Prison offender with pre-existing medical conditions, who tested positive for COVID-19, has died at the prison’s hospital.
“His death is tragic, and we are working very hard to mitigate the impact of the virus in our prisons,” said Todd Ishee, Commissioner of Prisons. “The health and safety of the staff and the offender population is our top priority.”
The offender, a man in his early 80s, tested positive for COVID-19 on October 14 and was in the prison hospital when his condition worsened, and he died November 3.
TUESDAY MORNING STORYLINES
Two new CDC reports reaffirm the risks pregnant women make when dealing with COVID-19. A study revealed pregnant women with COVID-19 might be at increased risk for severe illness and death compared with women who aren’t pregnant.
An analysis of approximately 400,000 women found that pregnant women were more likely to die from COVID-19. The report noted that “women aged 15-44 years with symptomatic COVID-19, intensive care unit admission, invasive ventilation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and death were more likely in pregnant women than in nonpregnant women.”
The report advised that families with expecting mothers take extra caution around them. The overall risk is still very low.
Germany is counting on a new type of test to avoid closing nursing homes to visitors, a move that caused considerable anguish among residents and relatives in the spring.
So-called antigen tests, which look for a specific protein on the virus, were first launched months ago. They are cheap and fast, but experts say they are also less accurate than the standard PCR test, which detects even the tiniest genetic trace of the virus.
Still, Germany – which has managed to contain the spread of the outbreak better than many of its neighbors – announced recently that it is bulk-buying millions of antigen tests each month.
During a Sunday rally in Florida, President Donald Trump suggested he might fire infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci after his crowd of supporters began chanting “Fire Fauci.”
Three Wake County schools reported COVID-19 cases associated with the campuses: one at Wakefield Middle School, one at Lincoln Heights Elementary School and two at Carnage Magnet Middle School.
In each case, the school did not specify whether a student, teacher or staff member tested positive for the virus. All three schools said they are working with Wake County public health officials to determine who may have come in contact with person who tested positive.
According to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 14,707 more patients are presumed to be recovered in North Carolina. In total, 246,318 of the state’s 278,028 cases are presumed to have recovered.
Because NCDHHS does not track when an individual patient recovers from COVID-19, the agency uses a median recovery time of 14 days for non-hospitalized patients and 28 days for hospitalized patients to come up with an estimation of the total number of recovered patients.
The number does not reflect the number of patients who are currently infectious.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,336 new COVID-19 cases Monday, the lowest daily increase in cases since October 19 when the state added 1,144 new cases.
Though the number of new cases dropped, the state also reported 30,261 more completed tests, a decrease from the past four days. The percentage of positive tests has remained roughly level, with 6.2% of tests returning positive on Saturday.
Currently, 1,146 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 with 94% of hospitals reporting. In the past 24 hours, 226 suspected COVID-19 patients have been admitted to hospitals statewide.
MONDAY MORNING STORYLINES
MAKO medical labs said they’ve now processed more than 2 million COVID-19 tests since April. A release from the lab said they have the capacity to process up to 100,000 COVID-19 tests per day. MAKO has two labs in North Carolina, one in Raleigh and one in Henderson. MAKO, who provides testing supplies for sports teams and state health departments, developed the COVFlu-19 test, a test that uses a single swab which checks for COVID-19 as well as two strains of the flu.
Some Nash County students are headed back to the classroom on Monday. Fourth and fifth-grade students are beginning Plan B, where schools can reopen at a reduced capacity.
New COVID-19 precautions are taking effect at the Cumberland County courthouse as jury trials resume today. Everyone will have their temperature checked before entering the building.
Throughout the country, cases are rising in 48 states, all except Nebraska and Delaware. In Wisconsin, 1 in 4 COIVD-19 tests are coming back positive.
North Carolina health officials are reporting 2,057 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 276,692. This is lower than the past few days that included record all-time case increase highs.
With 93% of hospitals reporting, 1,122 COVID-19 hospitalizations, down 62 from Saturday.
Throughout North Carolina, there have been 4,383 deaths from the virus.
The state is reporting a 6% test rate. That metric has been inching up and down over the past few days but is still higher than the state’s benchmark of 5%.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there have been 9,127,108 COVID-19 cases in the United States.
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