1,329 more COVID-19 cases bring total to 72,983 throughout North Carolina as hospitalizations hover under 950

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

What can we help you with? View our COVID-19 information and resources page here


SUNDAY

7:15 p.m.
Durham health officials report 4,113 total COVID-19 cases as of Sunday evening, up 56 from Saturday night.

5 p.m.
Authorities in northwestern Spain have ordered the lockdown of a county with a population of 71,000 for fears of a coronavirus outbreak.

Regional authorities in Galicia announced Sunday that movement to and from A Mariña county located on Spain's northern Atlantic coast will be prohibited starting at midnight. It will run through Friday, two days before the region holds elections.

The decision comes one day after regional authorities in northeast Catalonia locked down an area with over 200,000 inhabitants.

READ MORE: Spain locks down county of 71K fearing coronavirus outbreak

12:20 p.m.
North Carolina health officials reported 1,329 more COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 72,983. There has been one more death from the virus, bringing the state death total to 1,396.

More than 18,500 new tests bring the total amount of completed COVID-19 tests to 1,036,838 statewide.

Four more patients are being hospitalized, bringing the total to 949.

The state's percent positive test rate has fluctuated between 8 and 10 percent the last few weeks. It is currently 9 percent.

With 78 percent of hospitals reporting, 4,997 (28 percent) inpatient beds and 553 ICU beds (25 percent) are empty.
8 a.m.
As of Sunday morning, there have been 2,839,917 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States.

RELATED: 4th of July fuels worries about skyrocketing coronavirus cases in US

SATURDAY

7:15 p.m.
Durham health officials report 49 new COVID-19 cases within the county, raising the county total to 4,064. There have been 67 death county-wide. Of the total cases, 3,494 have been released from isolation.

12 p.m.
North Carolina health officials are reporting a total of 71,654 COVID-19 cases statewide, up 1,413 from Friday. This follows Friday's all-time case count high of 2,099.

There have been three more deaths from the virus, bringing the total to 1,395 deaths statewide.

Hospitalized cases are down six, bringing the total down to 945.

Why you might see different numbers of COVID-19 cases depending where you look

The state's percent positive test rate has fluctuated between 8 and 10 percent the last few weeks. It is currently 9 percent.

More than one million COVID-19 tests have been completed. The state continues to meet and exceed daily testing goals as just over 19,000 more tests were reported, bringing the exact total to 1,018,296 so far statewide.

With 86 percent of hospitals reporting, 4,766 inpatient hospital beds (26 percent) and 528 ICU beds (23 percent) are empty.

As of Saturday morning, there have been 2,795,163 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States.

FRIDAY

7:15 p.m.
Durham health officials report 44 new COVID-19 cases as of Friday evening, raising the county total to 4,015. There have been 66 deaths county-wide. Of the total cases, 3,409 have been released from isolation.

5:04 p.m.
Wake County health officials report 5,771 total confirmed cases of COVID-19, up 128 from Thursday. There have been 49 deaths county-wide.

2:30 p.m.
Hopscotch Music Festival will no longer take place in 2020, organizers announced on Friday.

A series of online events will be announced in the coming weeks.

Hopscotch will return to downtown Raleigh next year on September 9-11, 2021.

Organizers hope to bring back the Halfway to Hopscotch event in the Spring of 2021.

If you bought an early bird ticket for the 2020 festival, you can roll it over to the 2021 festival or request a refund. Attendees who roll over their ticket to the 2021 festival will receive Hopscotch merch or rewards in addition to staying locked-in at the 2020 early bird price. All current ticket holders should receive an email today with full refund options. You can reach out to nathan@hopscotchmusicfest.com with any ticketing questions.

12 p.m.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on Friday reported the highest number of new cases so far in the pandemic -- passing 2,000 new confirmed cases for the first time.

2,099 new cases were reported on Friday, as we go into the 4th of July weekend.

The state also reported the highest number of hospitalizations ever with 951.

"Highest new case count, highest hospitalizations, highest percent positive since end of April," Dr. Betsey Tilson tweeted on Friday. "Please be cautious this holiday weekend. No big groups, wear a face covering, wait 6 feet away, wash your hands."

"We are seeing significant spread of the virus and it is very concerning," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen. "Today we have the highest reported day of new cases and hospitalizations - and that should be a warning to us all as we go into this holiday weekend. We don't get a holiday from COVID-19. We all need to wear a face covering, avoid crowds and wash our hands often."

Over the last three days, the state has completed more than 20,000 tests per day.

The percent positive shot up to 11 percent over the last 24 hours - the highest percentage North Carolina has seen since late April when the state was doing more targeted testing.

NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said in a news conference on Thursday that the current trends in North Carolina indicate that there is 'rapid viral spread' happening in the state.

She said that we're not in "dire straits" but there is still reason to be concerned.

EMBED More News Videos

Dr. Mandy Cohen explains her concern over COVID-19 trends and metrics.



Cohen explained that one of the early detection signs of coronavirus -- the number of COVID-like syndromic cases -- continues to rise in the state. That's concerning, she said, because the number isn't impacted by other forces, like testing. That trend is simply an early warning indicator of a rise in cases so the fact that the line is trending upward is troubling.

She also said that the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to trend up.

Not only is the number of new cases increasing but they are growing at a faster rate. That is an indication that there is 'rapid viral spread' in the state, she said.

The percent of positive tests had remained level in the last week at about 8 to 9 percent, however, the goal is for that number to be closer to 5 percent, Dr. Cohen said.

For hospitalizations, the state still has the capacity to meet demand, however, hospitalizations are a lagging indicator, she said, and it takes longer to see the impact of viral spread on hospitalizations that it does on other metrics.

"This isn't where I'd hoped we'd be for July 4th weekend," Dr. Cohen said. "And, unfortunately, we don't get a holiday from COVID-19."
She reiterated the important of practicing the 3 Ws -- wear a cloth face covering, wait 6 feet apart and wash your hands often with soap and water.

FRIDAY MORNING STORYLINES

As North Carolina enters the Fourth of July holiday weekend, cases are still rising across the state.

During a news conference Thursday, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said there is "rapid viral spread" happening across the state.

State officials recommended that North Carolinians keep Fourth of July gatherings small and avoid gathering with people outside their households. Many businesses are also closing their parking lots to prevent people from congregating.

Meanwhile, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed four bills that would have allowed businesses like gyms, skating rinks and bowling alleys to open across the state and would have allowed Fourth of July fireworks celebrations to go on without having to follow the Safer at Home order's 25-person outdoor gathering limit.

To see a full list of virtual and drive-up fireworks celebrations, click here.

THURSDAY

5:56 p.m.
Wake County health officials identified two new COVID-19 outbreaks at two assisted living communities for older adults.
Public Health officials received positive test results from staff and residents at Sunrise at North Hills, located at 615 Spring Forest Road, and Abootswood at Stonehenge, at 7900 Creedmoor Road. No other information on the residents or employees were provided.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services defines an outbreak as two or more people -- residents or employees- testing positive for the virus.

As of Thursday night, Wake County reports 5,590 total confirmed cases within the county, up 175 from Wednesday.

5:30 p.m.
The Moore County Health Department said two residents and one staff member of Seven Lakes Assisted Living and Memory Care have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Health Department is working with the facility on a plan for testing all affected residents and staff.

This marks the third COVID-19 outbreak at a congregate living facility in Moore County. In a congregate living setting, a COVID-19 outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases.

In total, there have been 511 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Moore County.

4:27 p.m.
Wayne County said it has 1,847 total positive cases of COVID-19 with 88 of these cases attributed to congregate living facilitie. A total of 452 cases were from Neuse Correctional Institute and NCDPS has announced that all currently housed inmates have recovered.

Most people have recovered, leaving 266 known active cases in Wayne County.
The health department said four additional people died of COVID-19 this week. One was in their mid-50s with underlying medical conditions and died June 25. A second patient, in their early 60s with underlying medical conditions, died June 26. The third died June 30 and was in their early 70s with underlying medical conditions. The fourth patient also died June 30 and was in their mid-30s with underlying medical conditions.

So far, 29 people have died from COVID-19 complications in Wayne County.

3:45 p.m.
Final test results received this week show that all juveniles who agreed to undergo testing in the state were not infected by the coronavirus at the time they were tested.

In mid-June officials with the state Juvenile Justice section of the N.C. Department of Public Safety provided testing to all juveniles in secure custody in the four youth development centers and seven juvenile detention centers operated by the state.

Going forward during the coronavirus pandemic, all youths entering juvenile justice facilities will be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their admission. If the juvenile and/or guardian refuses to allow testing, the juvenile must remain in quarantine for 14 days. Juveniles who are tested will stay in quarantine until testing results have been determined, and up to 14 days.

3:41 p.m.
In Cumberland County, 7 percent of COVID-19 tests taken have been positive, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. The County has remained at 7 percent since Monday, below the state average of 8 percent.

The Department of Public Health reported 100 new COVID-19 cases and five additional deaths since June 29. Cumberland County's case count is now 1,327 and there have been 41 deaths.

"As we head into the 4th of July holiday weekend, we strongly encourage the public to celebrate safety. Avoid mass gatherings. If you are going to be around others outside of your household, wear your face cloth coverings and stay six feet apart from others. Remember your hand sanitizer if you won't have access to soap and water," said Dr. Jennifer Green, Cumberland County Health Director.

2:45 p.m.
Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday vetoed a number of bills related to reopening businesses in the state.

He vetoed a bill that would have allowed gyms and fitness centers to reopen, a bill that would have allowed bowling alleys and skating rinks to open and a bill that would have allowed amusement parks and arcades to open.
He also vetoed a bill that was meant to allow July 4 fireworks and other celebrations to go on without concerns over violating the mass gathering order.

"At this critical time, opening bowling alleys, skating rinks, and other indoor entertainment facilities runs contrary to both the troubling trends regarding COVID-19 deaths in North Carolina as well as scientific and medical data, which establishes that COVID-19 is significantly more likely to be transmitted in these settings," he said in a statement. "Opening these higher-risk facilities would spread COVID-19 and endanger the State's flexibility to open the public schools. Given the rapidly evolving nature of this pandemic, executive officials are best positioned to make emergency determinations about public health."

2:30 p.m.
NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said in a news conference on Thursday that the current trends in North Carolina indicate that there is 'rapid viral spread' happening in the state.

She said that we're not in "dire straits" but there is still reason to be concerned.

EMBED More News Videos

Dr. Mandy Cohen explains her concern over COVID-19 trends and metrics.


Cohen explained that one of the early detection signs of coronavirus -- the number of COVID-like syndromic cases -- continues to rise in the state. That's concerning, she said, because the number isn't impacted by other forces, like testing. That trend is simply an early warning indicator of a rise in cases so the fact that the line is trending upward is troubling.

She also said that the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to trend up.

Not only is the number of new cases increasing but they are growing at a faster rate. That is an indication that there is 'rapid viral spread' in the state, she said.

The percent of positive tests has remained level at about 8 to 9 percent, however, the goal is for that number to be closer to 5 percent, Dr. Cohen said.

The number of hospitalizations has also remained about level.

The state still has the capacity to meet demand, however, hospitalizations are a lagging indicator, she said, and it takes longer to see the impact of viral spread on hospitalizations that it does on other metrics.

"This isn't where I'd hoped we'd be for July 4th weekend," Dr. Cohen said. "And, unfortunately, we don't get a holiday from COVID-19."
She reiterated the important of practicing the 3 Ws -- wear a cloth face covering, wait 6 feet apart and wash your hands often with soap and water.

12:39 p.m.
The Sampson County Health Department is reporting eight new cases, which brings the total to 1,085 positive cases.

12 p.m.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported on Thursday the second-highest number of hospitalizations so far in the pandemic. Still, Dr. Mandy Cohen said during a news conference on Wednesday that the hospitals do continue to have enough capacity to care for patients.

912 people were hospitalized as of Thursday morning. The highest hospitalization count recorded in the state was on June 23 with 915 people hospitalized.

The state reported 1,629 new cases on Thursday. During the last couple of days, NCDHHS has also been reporting more tests, with more than 20,000 completed daily over the last two days.

18 more deaths were reported on Thursday, bringing the total in the state to 1,391.

Dr. Cohen stressed on Wednesday the importance of face coverings and avoiding large gatherings going into the holiday weekend.

"Wear a mask because you want to protect your loved ones and your neighbors," said Dr. Cohen. "Wear a face covering because you want to reignite the economy and support businesses. Wear a face covering so our children can be back at school where they can grow, learn and thrive."

When asked about holiday travel playing a role in possible virus spread, Cohen said most of North Carolina's cases are driven from local transmission and community spread such as workplace exposure and large gatherings.

According to Cohen, North Carolina is seeing a "slow but steady increase" compared to states that now serve as cautionary tales for how things can change quickly.
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