By Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice on October 15, 2020
On the day when North Carolina reported a record high for new cases of COVID-19, top state officials strongly emphasized the need for citizens to practice social distancing and mask-wearing to slow the spread of the virus.
“Look, this isn’t where we want to be,” said North Carolina Health and Human Services Department Secretary Mandy Cohen, referring to recent worrisome trends in the outbreak. “Frankly, it’s frustrating.” “The science is clear on masks,” she added, also expressing concern that about half of the people that contact tracers are trying to reach are not responding to those efforts.
“I know we’re all tired of this,” acknowledged Governor Roy Cooper, referring to the restrictions and hardships related to the pandemic. “But we cannot let weariness and frustration win out.” The state reported 2,532 new cases on COVID-19 on Oct. 15, the most in a single day since tracking began back in March. In all, 3,874 people have died from COVID-19 to date, and 1,140 are currently hospitalized. The percentage of positive tests out of all tests administered stands at 6.5% on the last day for which data are available, Oct. 13.
During the Oct. 15 briefing, Cohen reviewed key trends in the trajectory of the virus and found that all four of them — the number of people with COVID-like symptoms, the number of new cases, the percentage of positive tests and the number of hospitalizations— have increased recently.
“As you are going to see in the data, we are going in the wrong direction,” she asserted.
With the Executive Order that moved North Carolina into Phase 3 of re-opening set to expire on Friday, Oct. 23, several reporters quizzed Cooper about whether, given recent trends, he might re-impose some restrictions that had recently been eased.
Noting that any such decision would be based on looking at 14 to 21 days of metrics about the spread of the virus, Cooper stayed mum on anything that might come next week, saying: “We’re going to look at the science and the data.”
Update: Dare County reported 6 new cases of COVID-19 on Oc.t 16, bringing the total number of cases reported since the outset of the pandemic to 610. Four of the individuals are residents of Dare County and two are non-residents. All six are either isolating in Dare County or in their home counites.
Dare County is partnering with Mako Medical Laboratories out of Raleigh to host a diagnostic drive-thru COVID-19 testing event on Tuesday, Oct. 20, starting at 10:30 a.m. at Cape Hatteras Elementary School, located at 47500 Middle Ridge Rd in Buxton. Appointments are required. This event is open to permanent residents of Dare County, ages 5 and older.
Individuals can register for an appointment for the diagnostic test, which determines if an individual currently has a COVID-19 infection. To schedule an appointment, please call 252.475.5008. The call center is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Participants are required to send a photocopy of their government-issued identification card and insurance card prior to the event. (Email to email@example.com)
See today’s COVID-19 Update for NC interactive charts
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.