Health Team

NC reaches record 3000+ new cases, 1,246 in the hospital with COVID-19

North Carolina reached new daily records in the burgeoning coronavirus Wednesday, counting 3,119 new cases reported and 1,246 people being treated for the virus across the state.

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Jodi Leese Glusco
, WRAL director of digital content
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina reached new daily records in the burgeoning coronavirus Wednesday, counting 3,119 new cases reported and 1,246 people being treated in hospitals for the virus across the state.

The state's rolling, seven-day average of cases is the highest it has been – 2,537 – 500 higher than a peak in mid-July.

Wednesday was the first time over the course of the pandemic that the state reported more than 3,000 new cases in a single day.

Almost 40% of those currently hospitalized for COVID-19 have been admitted in the last 24 hours, and 24% of those being treated for COVID-19 are in intensive care units. More than 75% of all hospital beds across the state are filled, a rate not seen since Oct. 15.

To date, more than 4,660 people have died of COVID-19 in the state, and more than 300,000 people have tested positive for it.

Most people who test positive develop only mild or no symptoms, and most recover. The state estimates that, of the 300,561 who tested positive, 246,318 have recovered.

As the case numbers and hospitalizations have climbed, so too have the number of people seeking a test – to about 34,000 per day. About 6.3% of those people test positive, a number North Carolina Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen has said she'd like to see closer to 5%.

"The trend of new cases is up considerably in the last month, and we are experiencing a new peak," Cohen said on Tuesday. "Bottom line: We are on shaky ground."

In response, Gov. Roy Cooper scaled back the number of people who should gather indoors – from 25 to 10 – recommending that upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations be limited to those who share a household.

"The safest thing we can do for our loved ones is to limit travel and to limit getting together, especially indoors," Cohen said. "If you do decide to host a holiday gathering, we can't eliminate risk, but we can minimize it."

Referring repeatedly to good news recently about progress on a coronavirus vaccine, Cooper said, "Even though this will mean changes for our traditions, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That takes everybody committing to a safe holiday."

Newly confirmed infections nationwide were running at all-time highs of well over 100,000 per day, pushing the total to more than 10 million and eclipsing 1 million since Halloween. There are now 61,964 people hospitalized, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Hospitals are getting slammed. And unlike the earlier outbreaks, this one is not confined to a region or two.

The fall surge similarly has been blamed largely on cold weather driving people inside and disdain for masks and social distancing, stoked by President Donald Trump and other politicians.

The short-term outlook is grim, with colder weather and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's ahead. Other factors could contribute to the spread of the virus in the coming weeks: Last weekend saw big street celebrations and protests over the election. On Saturday night, an upset victory by Notre Dame's football team sent thousands of students swarming onto the field, many without masks.

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