By Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice on March 26, 2020
At the 2 p.m. March 26 COVID-19 briefing, North Carolina State Health Director Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson provided some new information indicating that, at least for the moment, a significant number of hospital beds in the state are empty and the average person infected with the virus is quite young.
Reviewing the latest data, Tilson said that as of the morning of March 26, there were 636 reported COVID-19 cases in the state spread through 57 counties. She also added that the average age of a person infected with the virus was 41. As was announced on March 25, there have been two deaths in North Carolina. In addition, 50 people have been hospitalized and more than 15,000 tests have been completed to date, with another 15,000 pending.
Speaking to hospital bed capacity, Tilson said that based on reporting from three-quarters of the hospitals, about 5,000 of the more than 10,000 hospital beds in the state are empty at this point. In addition, she reported that of the more than 3,000 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in the state, 566 are currently empty.
Also during the March 26 briefing, which was abbreviated by technical problems, North Carolina Emergency Management Director Michael Sprayberry announced that the White House, on March 25, had granted Governor Roy Cooper’s request for a federal disaster declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic in North Carolina.
The declaration provides public assistance to all 100 North Carolina counties, allowing local governments, state agencies and eligible non-profits to be reimbursed for costs involved in responding to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
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