NC coronavirus hospitalizations higher than ever, death toll second-highest
Posted November 25, 2020 12:16 p.m. EST
Updated November 26, 2020 11:21 a.m. EST
As families across the state celebrate Thanksgiving, more people than ever are hospitalized with COVID-19.
North Carolina's new coronavirus data on Wednesday shows COVID-19 hospitalizations are at their highest yet.
Currently, 1,811 people are hospitalized with coronavirus in the state. It's the highest number since the pandemic began and the first time the number is over 1,800 -- troubling for hospitals struggling to care for patients during flu season.
Sixty-four new coronavirus-related deaths were reported Wednesday, the second-highest daily number since the pandemic began. Additionally, more than 4,200 new daily cases were recorded, the third-highest ever.
North Carolina's total number of confirmed cases is now at 346,506. The highest number of daily cases ever was reported on Sunday, at 4,514. The three highest totals were all reported in the past week. At least 5,138 people have died of coronavirus in the state since the pandemic began.
About 7.3% of coronavirus tests taken in North Carolina come back positive -- a slight improvement compared to the past few days.
One day before Thanksgiving, a record number of people are seeking COVID-19 tests across the state, and while at much lower levels than in previous years, more people are traveling since the pandemic began.
The CDC and local health experts recommend not traveling for the holidays, asking people to stay home and celebrate with their own household instead, as cases climb across the state and the country.
While getting a coronavirus test is a proactive step, health experts warn that it doesn't mean you are truly COVID-19 free. Since it can take a couple of days before a test reads positive, you could still have coronavirus and infect others.
New mask rules going into effect
To combat coronavirus in North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper announced an executive order Monday. Per the order, mask requirements will become stricter effective Wednesday at 5 p.m. until at least Dec. 11.
The governor said, “Everyone needs to wear a mask whenever they are with someone who is not from the same household.” He means it.
Those going to businesses, restaurants, in-person schools and fitness centers all have to wear face masks, and the same goes for being in vehicles or at other people's houses that aren't yours. Bottom line: If you are going to be around other people you don't live with, you have to wear a mask.