By Outer Banks Voice on March 4, 2021
The new COVID-19 County Alert map released on March 4 by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services illustrates how much difference a month makes. On Feb. 4, a full 61 of the state’s counties were designated as a red zone, meaning they had “critical community spread” of the virus. Another 33 counties were designated as orange, meaning “substantial community spread.” And only 6 were designated as yellow, meaning “significant community spread.”
With the March 4 update, only 6 counties remain in red, 34 are designated as orange, and 60 are categorized as yellow — 10 times as many one month earlier. (There was another update on Feb. 22 showing that 27 counties were in red, 40 were in orange and 33 were in yellow.)
In this new update, Dare and Currituck Counties are both in the intermediate orange category while Hyde County is designated as yellow. Counties are categorized based on three metrics—the rate of cases over the past 14 days, the rate of positive test results over the past 14 days and “hospital impact,” which includes four different measures.
Dare and Hyde Counties are in the same categories now that they were in on Feb. 27, but Currituck County has now moved from a red zone designation to an orange zone designation.
No one is taking a victory lap yet. And state officials continue to caution that the recent improvement in COVID-19 metrics in the state can be “fragile” while reminding people to social distance and wear masks.
But the colors have certainly changed on the COVID map.
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