This week’s ABC News Coronavirus Working Group Governor’s Updated Report to Governors highlighted this, returning North Carolina to the “red zone” for COVID-19 cases, meaning the state reported more than 100 cases per 100,000 people per week from 3 to 9 October.
The report classifies “zones” as follows:
- “Red Zone”: More than 100 new cases per 100,000 people and more than 10.1% of tests that give positive results.
- “Orange Zone”: 51 to 100 new cases per 100,000 people and 8 to 10% of tests return positive.
- “Yellow zone”: From 10 to 50 new cases per 100,000 people and from 5 to 7.9% of tests that return positive.
- “Green zone”: Less than 10 new cases per 100,000 people and less than 5% of tests that give positive results.
Last week, when the number of cases per 100,000 people was 122, North Carolina exceeded the national average of 100 cases per 100,000 people and ranks 23rd in the country in most cases of COVID-19.
Although the counties of Mecklenburg, Wake and Guilford reported the highest incidence earlier this month, none of these counts had the same infection rates and positive test rates as other rural counties.
In fact, Wake and Guilford counties were included in the “yellow zone” in terms of incidence and percentage of positive tests, and Mecklenburg County was included in the “green zone”.
However, in central North Carolina, both Nash and Hawk counties are included in the “red zone” for both cases and the percentage of positive tests. Other Red Zone counties include Gaston, Robson, Cleveland, Scotland, Lincoln, Green, Chovan, Avery, Graham, Swain and Hyde.
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And data from the Department of Health and Human Services of North Carolina this week highlighted this trend of increasing the number of infections outside urban centers. This week, the counties with the highest number of cases per capita were McDowell, Duplin, Scotland and Robeson.
The report notes that while more rural areas in the state were damaged at the start of the pandemic, community mitigation efforts in these counties need to be stepped up.
And nationwide, the report shows that 73 percent of counties report moderate or high levels of community communication. Unlike in July and August, medical experts cannot pinpoint the specific cause of this increased spread of viruses, NCDHHS secretary Dr Mandy Cohen told a news conference on Thursday.
“Unlike August, our current deterioration trends are not related to any place or any activity,” Cohen told a news conference.
Local health officials and the federal report point to meetings between friends and extended families as a driving force behind the increase in cases. Governors Roy Cooper and Cohen urged North Carolingians to wear veils when they are with people who are not in the immediate family.
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Despite the increase, the report does not recommend closing companies, as suggested in previous reports. At a news conference Thursday, Cooper said his team would review the data from 14 to 21 days next week before deciding whether to further curtail business or further open the state at the end of its current administrative order, which expires on October 23.
Although Cooper did not say whether he would impose further restrictions on North Carolina, he said the safeguards provided by his executive order, including wearing a face covering in public and maintaining a separation of six feet from others, were necessary tools to slow it down. distribution of COVID-19 in the state.
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