RALEIGH, N.C. -- Here are the latest updates about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in North Carolina.
451 new COVID-19 cases were reported in North Carolina on Wednesday.
The percent of positive tests in the state is at 4.8%.
415 people are currently hospitalized in the state with COVID-19.
56% percent of the adult population is vaccinated with at least one dose.
13,460 deaths have been reported in North Carolina since the start of the pandemic.
The emergencies chief for the World Health Organization is calling on governments to exercise "extreme caution" in fully lifting restrictions aimed to curtail the spread of COVID-19, warning that transmission will increase as countries open up.
Dr. Michael Ryan, asked during a WHO news conference to respond to Britain's decision this week to ease restrictions despite rising case counts, says "every country right now is lifting restrictions in one way or the other" in hopes of striking a balance between a return toward normality and the need to control the virus as vaccinations increase.
"Transmission will increase when you open up," says Ryan, because not everyone is vaccinated and uncertainty remains about how much vaccination curbs transmission.
Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's technical lead on COVID-19, says several factors were driving transmission of COVID-19: The behavior of the coronavirus and its variants; social mixing; reduced social measures; and unequal and uneven distribution of coronavirus vaccines.
"The virus is showing us right now that it's thriving," she says. "This is not theoretical."
Globally, there's been nearly 4 million confirmed deaths from the coronavirus.
Companies around the U.S. are scrambling to figure out how to bring employees back to the office after more than a year of them working remotely. Most are proceeding cautiously, trying to navigate declining COVID-19 infections against a potential backlash by workers who are not ready to return. Tensions have spilled into the public at a few companies where some staff have organized petitions or even walkouts to protest being recalled to the office. Many are introducing a gradual return, allowing employees to work remotely two or three days a week. But implementing a "hybrid" workplace can be a headache, from identifying which roles are most conducive to remote work to deciding which days of the week employees need to be in the office.
A second person is now a millionaire just because they got a life-saving vaccine.
NCDHHS drew its second $1 million COVID-19 vaccine lottery winner. The person's identity has not been released.
In fact, that person may not yet know they won, as NCDHHS said it can take a couple days to contact the winner.
A wardrobe purge is on for some as vaccinations have taken hold, restrictions have lifted, and offices reopen or finalize plans to do so. The main beneficiaries are secondhand clothing marketplaces and brick-and-mortar donation spots. That continues a trend building for the last several years. At the resale site Poshmark, orders are up for handbags and work-worthy dresses when compared to last year. The same goes for blazers, suit jackets and heels. ThredUp's co-founder and CEO, James Reinhart, says growth is fueled by an influx of new sellers putting high-quality clothing into the market.
WEDNESDAY MORNING HEADLINES
Another North Carolinian will become a millionaire today.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, with help from the NC Education Lottery, will randomly select a vaccinated adult to win $1 million today at 10 a.m. A second winner will also be drawn for $125,000 in scholarship money.
The drawings are part of Gov. Roy Cooper's push to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19.
The drawings are done with a random number generator. Each vaccinated person is linked with one of the random numbers that can be selected.
After the drawing, NCDHHS will determine if the person whose number was drawn is eligible to win the money.
After that, officials will reach out to the winners via email or phone. The process can take several days.
SEE ALSO: Scammers look to cash in on NC COVID-19 vaccine lottery
This program will continue with two more chances for you to win. Remaining drawings are scheduled for July 21 and August 4.
NCDHHS said there are 231 new cases of COVID-19. The percent positive has crept up a little after the holiday weekend, clocking in at 4%.
There have been 13,455 deaths in the state attributed to COVID-19.
In all, 56% of the adult population is now at least partially vaccinated.
TUESDAY MORNING HEADLINES
The second NC COVID-19 lottery drawing is scheduled to happen tomorrow.
It's the second of four chances you have to win a million dollars.
The first $1 million winner was Shelly Wyramon, a teacher from Winston-Salem.
To be eligible to win, you just have to have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine in the state of North Carolina.
Predictions of a baby boom during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown have gone bust in North Carolina, according to a team of researchers.
Data compiled by Carolina Demography showed that birth rates in North Carolina fell by 3.1% from 2019 to 2020, in line with a national decline of 3.8% over the same period, the News & Observer reports.
Carolina Demography is located within the Carolina Population Center at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Boone Turchi, an associate professor of economics at UNC, said the skyrocketing unemployment rates during the COVID-19 pandemic likely prompted many people to wait to have children.
Birth rates were falling before the pandemic. In North Carolina, birth rates decreased by 0.96% each year on average between 2015 and 2020.