By Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice on August 13, 2020
Cautious optimism may be the best way to describe the tone of Governor Roy Cooper’s Aug. 13 briefing with the media on the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.
With some of the key statistics — ranging from the number of new cases to those hospitalized by the disease — generally improving this month, Cooper opened the briefing by noting that, “We’re making progress. I’m encouraged. But we need to keep working.” Indeed, the number of new cases announced on Aug. 13 — 1,763 — was the highest since Aug. 8.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen also lauded the “start of declines in our key metrics,” meaning those numbers were either dropping or levelling off. But she also cited upcoming concerns about the pandemic in the fall with some students returning to classes and the looming combination of COVID-19 and the seasonal flu.
Cohen reviewed the recent trajectory of these “key metrics” and had some good news to report. The number of those going to emergency rooms with COVID-like symptoms and the number of lab-reported cases are declining, she explained. The percentage of positive COVID-19 tests out of all tests administered is “trending slightly downward,” getting closer to that 5% positive goal the state has set. And the number of individuals hospitalized with COVID-19, she added, “is levelling off as well.”
Still, when a reporter asked whether the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is now over in the state, neither official answered in the affirmative.
“Our progress is fragile,” noted Cohen.
What’s new today: State officials voice cautious optimism about COVID-19 trends. (See Today’s NC coronavirus numbers for interactive charts)
Note: Every morning, the NC Department of Health and Human Services posts updates the number of reported cases of coronavirus. That number reflects positive results from all tests, including the NC State Laboratory of Public Health and all hospital and commercial labs. There may be other reports, from the media and elsewhere, that will include different numbers during a given day, but this is an effective way of tracking numbers from the same source on a day-to-day basis.
SOURCE: NC DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
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