COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in North Carolina.
North Carolina health officials are reporting 3,444 more COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 357,958.
Nine more people have died from the virus in North Carolina, bringing the total to 5,219.
With 97% of hospitals reporting, COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen by 60 to reach a total of 1,840. This is a new high for COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state.
The state’s percent positive test rate has risen to 7.8%, up from Friday’s 7.3%.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there have been 13,092,661 COVID-19 cases throughout the United States.
For the first time in two days, North Carolina Health and Human Services released new COVID-19 metrics–the state did not release new numbers on Thanksgiving.
The new metrics show 5,210 people have died from the virus in North Carolina. That’s an increase of 72.
The state is also reporting 354,514 cases, an increase of 8,008.
Those death and case increases are high, but since they encompass more than the normal 24-hour time span they are not considered record increases.
The state’s daily percent positive for cases remained at 7.3%.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is expected to release new COVID-19 numbers around noon Friday.
It’ll be the first look at new numbers in two days, as the state did not report numbers on Thanksgiving.
However, the cases reported will not reflect cases caused by Thanksgiving gatherings. Health officials say those numbers will start showing up in about 7 to 14 days.
Health experts warned Americans against large gatherings with loved ones that did not live under the same roof, but polls and travel numbers suggest many families did not adhere to those warnings.
THURSDAY MORNING STORYLINES
Wednesday’s report from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services showed a record 1,811 people hospitalized in the state. That was a new high and came after setting a previous high on Tuesday. The news is concerning given many people gathering for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The latest Centers for Disease Control report predicts somewhere between 294,000 to 321,000 COVID-19 related deaths are possible by Dec. 19. On Monday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams asked Americans to keep it “small and smart'” concerning Thanksgiving celebrations.
Because of the holiday, the state is not expected to release new COVID-19 data on Thursday.
Sanford Mayor Chet Mann issued an emergency declaration to reinforce Governor Cooper’s executive orders requiring the use of face coverings by persons in North Carolina and reducing the occupancy limits of most indoor activities.
Executive orders 176 and 180 mandate face coverings in public and indoors when in the presence of non-household members. It reduces mass gathering limits for indoor spaces from 25 to 10 people.
The declaration for the City of Sanford takes effect at 5 p.m., Wednesday, November 25, 2020 and will remain in effect until it is modified or rescinded by Mayor Mann.
“This enhanced State of Emergency does not include additional regulations,” Mayor Mann said. “This is an effort to reinforce existing regulations, allowing the City Manager to deploy employees as needed.”
Q&A: NC’s top doctor on whether COVID-19 vaccine will be approved for kids, pregnant women
Wake County Public Health has confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 at HeartFields at Cary, an assisted living and memory care facility located at 1050 Crescent Green in Cary.
This is the second outbreak confirmed at this location.
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety announced that prisons’ leadership is consolidating some of its operations to help mitigate the surge of COVID-19 in North Carolina and its impact on the prison system.
As a result, the following actions were taken:
Operations were temporarily suspended at Randolph Correctional Center in Asheboro on Nov. 22 and the staff reassigned temporarily to other prisons in the region.
Operations were temporarily suspended on Nov. 20 at Southern Correctional Institution’s minimum custody unit, enabling staff there to better assist in other sections of the prison in Troy.
Operations were temporarily suspended at the minimum custody unit of Piedmont Correctional Institution, located in Salisbury, on Nov. 25 so the staff can assist in the medium-custody facility in the prison complex.
The impacted offenders were transferred to other prison facilities of appropriate custody levels.
“These Prisons consolidation actions were necessary due to outbreaks of COVID-19 in the offender populations at a number of state prisons and the need for additional personnel in the prisons handling viral outbreaks,” the department said in a news release.
North Carolina on Wednesday hit another record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations with 1,811. Tuesday’s hospitalizations were also a new record.
247 new patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 were admitted to hospitals in the last 24 hours. 306 people with suspected cases were also admitted.
69 percent of newly admitted patients are over the age of 60. 8 percent are under the age of 39.
As of Wednesday morning, there were 431 adults in ICUs across the state battling COVID-19.
More than 4,000 new cases were also reported in the state, marking only the third time that has happened since the start of the pandemic.
A total of 4,212 new cases were reported on Wednesday.
The percent of positive tests is currently at 7.3 percent.
WEDNESDAY MORNING STORYLINES
The state’s newest mask mandate begins Wednesday at 5 p.m., requiring masks at all indoor public places. The most notable revisions include restaurants requiring customers to wear a mask while sitting down and gymgoers having to keep their masks on while working out.
There were fewer travelers than usual at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Wednesday morning ahead of Thanksgiving.
The Centers for Disease Control has advised against traveling and joining large gatherings for the holidays. While that may be reducing some seasonal travel, it’s not being universally adhered to. The Transportation Safety Administration said Monday it screened more than 2 million people over the weekend before Thanksgiving.
Free COVID-19 testing is being offered Wednesday at Smithfield Men’s Progressive Club on Old Goldsboro Road in Smithfield from 9 a.m. until noon. You don’t need an appointment or to be showing symptoms to receive a test.
Copyright © 2020 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.