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WEB EXCLUSIVE Coronavirus cases in North Carolina—and throughout the world—are increasing yet again and many public health experts are worried about another COVID spike. Many European countries have already shut down again, closing restaurants, bars and shops and encouraging everyone to quarantine. Is it only a matter of time before the U.S. is forced to do the same?
In a press conference held this afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper and DHHS secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen addressed the concerning coronavirus numbers in North Carolina. As of October 15, there are 238,939 cases of coronavirus in the state with 1,140 currently hospitalized. Additionally, today marks the highest single-day case count since the beginning of the pandemic, with 2,532 new cases reported overnight.
“North Carolina must be more vigilant to stop the spread of this virus,” Cooper said. “It’s up to every one of us to continue wearing masks, social distancing and using our best judgement.”
Dr. Cohen showed that viral spread is happening across the state, and unlike during the previous increase in cases, current trends don’t link to any one person or activity. As shown in the graph below, COVID cases peaked in July, with another bump in August from the opening of schools and universities; now cases are trending up yet again.
Dr. Cohen says that the current trends are especially concerning heading into flu season. North Carolina has already had one death over the age of 65 from the flu, and some hospitals are already feeling strain.
“Whatever your reason, I’m asking you to get behind the mask,” said Cohen.
During today’s press conference, Gov. Cooper also talked about the 2020 census deadline, which is today. He’s encouraging all North Carolinians to fill out the census in order get the state necessary funding, which will also help support COVID recovery. Billions of dollars are at risk if North Carolina residents don’t respond. You can take the census online at https://2020census.gov/en.html.
Additionally, Gov. Cooper encourages families who are facing serious financial hardships due to COVID-19 and are having difficulties paying rents and utilities to apply to his $117 million NC Hope program. Those in need can go to 211.org/hope to apply and be screened for eligibility, or dial 211 Monday through Friday. Payments are made directly to landlords and utility companies.
Gov. Cooper and Dr. Cohen will continue monitoring COVID numbers as they decide how to move forward after phase 3 is supposed to end on October 23.
“I know we’re all tired of this, but we can’t let weariness or frustration wear us out,” Gov. Cooper said. “We’ve brought our numbers down before and we need to do it again. Whether gathering with friends or family or running into the store, wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands.”
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