COVID-19 hospitalizations decline for 13th straight day as percent of positive tests remains below 10%

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Here are the latest updates about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in North Carolina.

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10:30 p.m.
Duke has reported a COVID-19 cluster connected to an off-campus birthday party at BullHouse Apartments on East Pettigrew Street.



4:35 p.m.
The Atlantic Coast Conference announced that the Miami at North Carolina men's basketball game will be postponed. The game was supposed to be played tonight at 7 p.m.

The postponement follows "a meeting of personnel from both schools, who mutually concluded the game could not move forward."

"We are disappointed that tonight's game against Miami is postponed and hope that every effort will be made to re-schedule the game," UNC Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham said.

4:20 p.m.
Appointments for Thursday's mass vaccination clinic at PNC Arena are already scheduled with Saturday appointments being scheduled.

PNC Arena's 8,000-space parking lot will be converted into a drive-thru, appointment-only clinic two days this week. There are 2,150 appointments being scheduled at the PNC Arena Clinic for health care workers and people 65 and older.

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PNC Arena's 8,000-space parking lot will be converted into a drive-thru, appointment-only clinic two days this week. There are 2,150 appointments being scheduled at the PNC Arena Clinic for health care workers and people 65 and older.



The PNC Arena clinic is a partnership between Wake County Public Health, PNC Arena, WakeMed Health & Hospitals, UNC Rex Healthcare and Duke Raleigh Hospital.

This is an invitation-only event, and Wake County is reaching out to people on its vaccine waitlist to schedule an appointment, and they must confirm to get a spot. But not everybody will be contacted. That's because there are more than 100,000 people are on the county's waitlist and there's a limited vaccine supply.

"We're excited to have received some extra doses this week, to be able to open PNC, but yet again, we're still in a position where the total number of supply is not enough to be able to give everyone the vaccine," said Wake County Mass Vaccination Branch Director Ryan Jury.

The county is confident it can administer at least 10,000 doses at PNC Arena during a 4-day period. The county is asking the state for more vaccine so it can do that in the future.

"We have already requested and sent those applications for event doses," Jury said. "And we've been, in essence, communicating with the state about what our capacity is and what our options are so, yes, we've applied for those and it would be up to the state to determine whether or not those doses can come or not."

As of Sunday night, Wake County has administered 12,283 first doses, according to a county spokesperson.

"We understand that in terms of number of doses per person, Wake County is in the bottom percentiles in terms of total doses per person and so our hope is that by submitting these requests and suggesting to the state that we can take more vaccine that hopefully more doses will come to the county in the coming weeks," Jury said.

The PNC Arena clinic is in addition to Wake County's other vaccination sites.

"It is an outdoor model and is also drive-thru but we recognize that that may not be the best for everyone and so we also have indoor mass vaccination clinics as well," Jury said. "And so it's just kind of a comprehensive offering to the community and those who get invited to schedule an appointment, they can kind of choose the location that best fits them and what would work best for them."

If you don't have a car, you can walk up as long as you have an appointment. A shuttle is being provided between a GoRaleigh bus stop and PNC Arena.

12:55 p.m.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 41,210,937 vaccine doses have been administered nationwide.

In total,10% of the population (31.6 million people) has received 1 or more doses and 3% of the population (9.1 million people) has received 2 doses.

24,685,656 doses have been reported since January 20, 2021.

12 p.m.

Monday's report from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services included 3,084 newly-reported COVID-19 cases. There were a total of 2,339 people in the hospital with COVID-19 on Sunday, the 13th straight day that hospitalizations have decreased. In the last month, North Carolina hospitals have reported 1,621 fewer people hospitalized with COVID-19.

The daily percent positive rate was 8.6% -- the fifth day in a row this metric has remained below 10%--and the number of deaths reported since March is 9,991.

MONDAY MORNING HEADLINES
Three new COVID-19 testing sites open Monday in Raleigh.

The three new sites are located in areas where the spread of the virus is dangerously high.

Click here for a full list and hours of operation of testing sites in Wake County.

Anyone wanting to get tested for COVID-19 can drive up to Brier Creek Park, Tarboro Road Park, or Method Community Park to receive a quick, easy, and free test. Testing begins at 11 a.m.

The new testing sites come as North Carolina nears a couple grim milestones. Metrics released Sunday showed the state was just 17 deaths shy of 10,000 and 4,000 cases shy of 800,000 from a virus that arrived in the state less than a year ago.

Overall, those metrics are improving. But the overall impact of the virus is an important reminder to get tested and continue to practice the three Ws.

Starting Thursday, PNC Arena will open as a mass vaccination site.

The large arena will be open six days a week and offer appointment-only vaccines.

Thousands of people over the age of 65 or who work in healthcare are on the Wake County COVID-19 vaccine waitlist.

County health officials hope the vaccine site at PNC will help reduce that waitlist--however, the supply of the vaccine remains limited.

The county said it will contact people on the waitlist to set them up an appointment.

Starting Friday, Walgreens will join the race to vaccinate. The retain pharmacy chain will become the first in North Carolina to start giving out COVID-19 vaccines.

Walgreens expects to distribute 1 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to its pharmacies all across the country on Thursday.

Meanwhile, some in-person learning begins Monday at UNC. However, after many students broke COVID-19 protocols by rushing Franklin street when the men's basketball team beat rival Duke, the school's chancellor gave professors the option to remain in remote learning.

Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz gave educators at the school the option to teach remotely for the next 1.5 weeks. The university said in-person learning remains safe due to COVID-19 guidelines in place.

SUNDAY
11:30 a.m.

North Carolina is reporting 4,674 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 796,195.

Throughout the state, 57 more people have died from the virus, bringing the total to 9,983.

With 95 percent of hospitals reporting, 2,378 are being hospitalized with COVID-19. That is down 90.

The state is reporting a 7.4% positive test rate. That is down slightly from Saturday's 7.8%.

7:15 a.m.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there have been 26,918,887 COVID-19 cases throughout the United States since March.

SATURDAY

11:05 a.m.
North Carolina is reporting 4,172 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 791,521.

With 95 percent of hospitals reporting, 2,468 patients remain hospitalized with COVID-19. That is 55 less from Friday.

A total of 9,926 North Carolinians have died from the virus. That is 85 more since Friday.

The state's percent positive test rate is 7.8%, down from Friday's 7.9%.

9:15 a.m.
As of Feb. 6, Mako Medical Laboratories said there are currently five known cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant throughout North Carolina.

The B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant was first identified in the United Kingdom and makes up the majority of reported variant cases.

Mako has also identified one case of a variant called Denmark "cluster five" in North Carolina.

According to the CDC as of Feb. 4, 611 B 1.1.7 cases have been identified across thirty-eight states.

"As we continue our sequencing of indicated samples, we have found a continued rise in variant occurrences," said Steve Hoover, Vice President of Laboratory Operations at MAKO Medical. "Over the past week, indicated samples are now returning positive variant cases at a fifty-percent rate, up from a twenty-five percent rate last week. The information we are collecting is shared directly with state health officials to assist in understanding the presence of the variants in communities across the country."

7:30 a.m.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there have been 26,814,845 COVID-19 cases since March.
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