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Coronavirus NC: COVID-19 hospitalization numbers drop

North Carolina added more than 1,400 coronavirus cases to its total Sunday, as hospitalizations fell to a low that the state hasn’t experienced since July 1, according the the state health department.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,472 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 and 10 new related deaths since Saturday.

At least 155,113 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 2,531 have died, DHHS reported.

The number of those in the state hospitalized for COVID-19 decreased by 98 on Sunday to 898, according to DHHS. Hospitalization numbers haven’t been that low since July 1, when the state reported 888 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized.

However, the drop may be influenced by the number of hospitalizations reporting. On Saturday, 92% of the hospitals were reporting, compared to 84% on Sunday.

In general, hospitalization numbers have been declining over the past month.

From July 20 to July 26, daily hospitalization numbers ranged between 1,086 and 1,191. From Monday to Saturday, hospitalizations ranged 980 to 1,016.

The number of completed COVID-19 tests increased by 26,354 to 2,078,472.

The percentage of positive tests remained at 7% as of Saturday, the latest date available.

State public health officials track coronavirus spread through four main metrics, including hospitalizations, the number of new cases and the percentage of people who tested positive.

DHHS advises that the data on its COVID-19 dashboard is preliminary and can be adjusted as more reporting is collected. It also advises looking at trends over a period of time.

More schools move to online classes

Over the weekend, North Carolina’s state universities continued to struggle with COVID-19 clusters as students have returned to campuses for fall classes.

On Sunday East Carolina University officials announced they are moving undergraduate online classes after six COVID-19 clusters were identified after the first two weeks of classes.

UNC Charlotte also announced Sunday that students won’t return to campus until Oct. 1, due to COVID-19 concerns. However, online-only classes will begin on Sept. 7.

On Saturday UNC-Chapel Hill officials reported two more clusters were discovered in Craige residence hall and Alpha Delta Pi sorority house, bringing the total number of clusters up to nine, The News & Observer reported.

Last week, UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University also announced plans to move to online classes.

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