North Carolina reports nearly 3,000 additional COVID-19 cases, 100 more hospitalizations

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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9 p.m.
President Donald Trump signs COVID-19 relief bill after delaying for nearly a week.

The president announced Sunday that he had signed the bipartisan bill that his own representatives spearheaded but that he earlier in the week called a disgrace.

In a statement the president said he was signing the bill but was also calling on Congress to make changes to it.

12:48 p.m.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,898 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, raising the total number of statewide cases to 516,828.

The daily percent positive continues to trend in the wrong direction and has increased by 1.5 percent, raising the total to 11.9 percent. The goal, as set by the NCDHHS officials, is to be around 5 percent.

As of Sunday afternoon, 100 more people are currently in the hospital with COVID-19. For almost a whole week, the number of hospitalizations has been above 3,000.

Twenty-three more people have died due to complications with the virus since Saturday, bringing the total to 6,549.

In total, there have been 6,737,864 completed tests, up 29,776 from Saturday.

SATURDAY



1:40 p.m.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on Saturday released new COVID-19 numbers for the state for the first time in three days.

Numbers were not released on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

The daily case increases for the last three days are as follows:
Dec. 24: 7,703

De. 25: 6,345
Dec. 26: 5,371

Over the last few days, North Carolina surpassed 500,000 total cases since the start of the pandemic.

Currently, 3,023 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state. The number of hospitalizations has been above 3,000 since Dec. 21.
The percent positive in the state is 10.4 percent. The goal is to be around 5 percent.

10:29 a.m.
An offender at Nash Correctional Institution who was diagnosed as positive for COVID-19 died on Christmas night, prison officials said.

The 81-year-old offender had extensive underlying medical issues. He tested positive for COVID-19 on December 8 and was hospitalized on December 20.

"We sympathize with the offender's family, as losing a loved one is hard enough, but especially so during the holiday season," said Todd Ishee, Commissioner of Prisons. "We continue working diligently to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in our prisons because the health and safety of the staff and the offender population continues to be our top priority."

9 a.m.
A look at the state's "County Alert System" shows the latest trends in community spread in central North Carolina.

Wake and Durham counties are in the orange zone -- with "substantial" levels of community spread.

Cumberland County is in the red zone -- with "critical" spread.
The latest update shows more than 90 percent of the state is in red or orange zones.

In the past two weeks, the number of counties in the red zone has increased from 48 to 65.

FRIDAY



Bethlehem ushered in Christmas Eve with a stream of joyous marching bands and the triumphant arrival of the top Catholic clergyman in the Holy Land. But few people were there to greet them as the coronavirus pandemic and a strict lockdown dampened celebrations in the traditional birthplace of Jesus.
Similar subdued scenes were repeated across the world as the festive family gatherings and packed prayers that typically mark the holiday were scaled back or canceled altogether. In Australia, worshippers had to book tickets online to attend socially distanced church services. Pope Francis is set to celebrate Mass in the near-empty Vatican basilica early in the evening, hours before a nationwide curfew goes into effect.

The CDC announced a new restriction for travelers overnight. The United States is going to require airline travelers from Britain to get a negative COVID-19 test first.

The state's COVID-19 dashboard won't be updated on Thursday or Friday due to the Christmas holiday. The next update will happen on Saturday, Dec. 26.

Q&A with NC's top doctor Betsey Tilson: How will you know when it's your time to get vaccinated?
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State Health Director Dr. Betsey Tilson answers your questions about COVID-19 mutations and when it will be your time to get vaccinated.

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