County alert map shows 61 North Carolina counties in red for critical community spread of COVID-19

The latest update from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services county alert map shows 61 of the state's counties in red for critical community spread of COVID-19. Thirty-three counties are in orange and 6 are in yellow.

"North Carolinians are working hard to protect one another and we're seeing the result," Dr. Mandy Cohen said during a Feb. 4 briefing.

Although Gov. Roy Cooper echoed her optimism, he added that cases and deaths are still to high, referencing the Feb. 3 record for most deaths recorded in a single day.

"There are encouraging signs but we know this pandemic has tested us and we must stay vigilant," said Cooper. "We can and will turn the corner on this pandemic and our communities can be even stronger than before."

In the Jan. 21 update, 86 counties were in red, 13 were in orange and 1 was in yellow.

Since that time, the state has launched a tool for residents to know when they're eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and another tool that provides vaccination locations.

Where can you get a COVID-19 vaccine in NC? Tracking availability and progress

The County Alert Map divides counties into three groups based on the level of COVID-19 community transmission, calculated by the number of cases per capita and either the percentage of positive tests or the level of hospital capacity:

Red: critical community spread
Orange: substantial community spread

Yellow: significant community spread

Cumberland County is in red, while both Durham and Wake counties are in orange.

People in all counties are still encouraged to stay home and limit their public interactions to essential activities. They're also urged to avoid gathering with others who are outside of their household, in accordance to the Jan. 6 Secretarial Directive.