New coronavirus cases climb to over 2,000; impact of UNC outbreak evident
Posted August 21, 2020 12:04 p.m. EDT
Updated August 21, 2020 2:18 p.m. EDT
North Carolina reported 2,008 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, the first time that daily number has topped 2,000 this month.
The rolling, seven-day average of new cases has been in the 1,200 to 1,300 range for about a week.
On Monday, the number of new cases reported dropped to less than half of that average, but the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services attributed that anomaly to a delay in reporting from one of the commercial testing labs.
The impact of the outbreaks of coronavirus on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is evident in Orange County, which reported 152 new cases, or an increase of 10% in two days.
A county health department spokesman said 85% of those new cases are in people the 18 to 24 age range, indicating most of the new cases are likely related to UNC.
Last week, the rolling average of new cases in Orange County was 11 per day. By Friday, it had soared to 37 per day.
To date, 152,899 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The majority of them – 127,749 – have recovered. Across the state, 1,016 people remain in hospitals being treated for COVID-19, and 2,487 have died.
More than 5.4 million people in the United States have tested positive for the virus. That's the equivalent of all the cases in the two countries with the second- and third-greatest numbers of cases, Brazil and India, respectively.
More than 170,000 have died nationwide, with the greatest number of deaths in New York.