After North Carolina came within one percentage point of its goal, the state’s percent of positive coronavirus cases ticked up Sunday for the first time in one week.
The state’s Department of Health and Human Services reported 144,952 total lab-confirmed cases had been recorded in North Carolina as of Sunday, including 1,246 new cases.
The percent of people tested who were positive for coronavirus was 7%, up from 6% in recent days. State public health officials have set a goal of 5%.
The percent of positive cases is a key number used by the state in determining whether to lift restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus. North Carolina remains in Phase 2 of its reopening plan and will stay there at least into September.
The one-week dip in percent positive cases to 6% is the lowest North Carolina has seen since May.
On Sunday, North Carolina reported a dip in hospitalizations from COVID-19, to 934 current patients. But those figures appear lower, DHHS said, because only 80% of the state’s hospitals reported data by Sunday’s deadline. Hospitalizations are often lower on Sundays in general, as fewer hospitals report data on the weekends.
Despite the percent positive increase, North Carolina recorded its lowest case count in four days. The state’s 7-day rolling average is trending upward for the first time in a week, while remaining below peak levels seen in July.
The state reported the fewest deaths in weeks, as the death toll increased by four Sunday to 2,347 North Carolinians lost to COVID-19.
While North Carolina’s hospitalization figures are incomplete Sunday, the number of patients suffering from COVID-19 has dropped steadily for nearly a month, though the 7-day average trend of suspected but unconfirmed patients is trending upward.
The state looks to eclipse the 2 million test mark later next week, reporting 1.92 million COVID-19 tests have been administered since the beginning of the pandemic. North Carolina had previously reported more than 2 million tests, but last week DHHS said that figure was inflated by 221,000 due to a recording error by LabCorp.
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Drew Jackson writes about restaurants and dining for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, covering the food scene in the Triangle and North Carolina.