North Carolina’s COVID positivity rate falls to 5%  

By on September 15, 2020

With 5 new cases, Dare passes 500 overall 

(Dare County Department of Health and Human Services)

Even on a day when the state announced 51 new COVID-19 deaths, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen offered perhaps her most upbeat assessment yet of the trajectory of the pandemic in the state.

“We are currently seeing positive signs…we are truly a standout in the South,” said Cohen at her Sept. 15 media briefing. And while the number of reported cases in the state has been trending downward since a peak in mid-July, she pointed to another key metric today. “The past few days, we’ve hovered around the five percent mark,” when it comes to the percentage of positive tests out of all tests administered, Cohen said. “And that’s very positive.”

Indeed, in the five days from Sept. 9 through Sept. 13, the so-called positivity rate has been steady at between 4.8% and 5.2% — down significantly from the roughly 6%-7% rate it had hovered around for most of the past month. Getting down to that 5% mark has long been a stated goal of Cohen’s.

In urging North Carolinians not to let their guard down, Cohen noted that it is still too early to assess what impact both the Labor Day holiday and the state’s recent move to Phase 2.5 of re-opening might have on the spread of COVID-19 in the state.  And she advised residents that this fall “it is more important than ever to get a flu shot,” adding that the number of flu shots administered in 2020 to date is running ahead of the 2019 flu vaccinations at this same point.

5 new cases reported in Dare County 

On the same day the state announced 1,106 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the overall total since March to 186,887, Dare County passed a milestone of sorts. With 5 new cases reported on Sept. 15, the county passed the 500 mark, with a total of 502 cases reported here since the onset of the pandemic.

Of these five new cases, four individuals are non-residents and one is a resident. Four are between the ages of 25-49 and one is at least 65 years old.  The senior citizen, a non-resident, has been hospitalized with COVID-19. The other four individuals are isolating.

Today’s statewide NC coronavirus numbers – Sept. 15.

  • Reported NC cases – 186,887 (up 1,106 from yesterday)
  • Reported NC deaths – 3,111
  • Currently hospitalized – 916
  • Suspected COVID-19 cases hospitalized in past 24 hours – 349 (up 30 from yesterday)
  • Confirmed COVID-19 case hospitalized in past 24 hours – 100 (down 3 from yesterday)
  • Adults in ICU with COVID-19 – 297 (up 4 from yesterday)
  • Patients presumed to be recovered – 167,257   
  • Reported cases in Dare, Currituck and Hyde Counties – 762 (Dare 502, Currituck 137, Hyde 123)
  • Completed tests – 2,652,440

Note: Every morning, the NC Department of Health and Human Services posts updates o 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.


Link to COVID-10 North Carolina Dashboard


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  • Dethrol

    I call BS. This isn’t a revelation or any kind of indicator of anything except that North Carolina has administered tests to the equivalent of 25% of the State’s population. The real headline should indicate that the positivity rate, as compared to the total population, is 1.8%. Good news folks, we’ve met the requirements to let this virus go and get on with our lives. Keep in mind that of the more than 2,650,000 tests that have been administered, most of those were administered to people who had symptoms, were identified through contact, or to those who felt they needed a test. Logically, the density of positive results among this population would be higher, and it’s still barely 5%. Ms. Cohen’s process would work and provide a meaningful number only if every single citizen of North Carolina is tested at one time and results are reported immediately. See folks, it’s still about moving the goalposts around to prevent the public from marching on the capital with pitchforks and torches. Statewide, the positivity rate as compared to the population is 1.8%…..

    Tuesday, Sep 15 @ 7:13 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Dethrol, just a friendly notice. You’ve exhausted your extrapolations and calculations. You have to come up with a second act if you want to keep posting on this subject.

    Tuesday, Sep 15 @ 10:10 pm