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NC coronavirus update August 22: UNC, 1,729 new COVID-19 cases bring North Carolina total to 153,641 statewide, 7 percent of tests positive

RALEIGH, N.C. — Here are the latest updates about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in North Carolina.What can we help you with? View our COVID-19 information and resources page here

SATURDAY
12:15 p.m.

North Carolina health officials are reporting 1,729 more cases of COVID-19 statewide, bringing the total to 153,641.

There have been 27 more deaths, bringing the total to 2,521.

Why you might see different numbers of COVID-19 cases depending where you look

With 92 percent of hospitals reporting, there are 19 less patients hospitalized, bringing the total to 996.

There have been 21,233 more tests completed, bringing the total 2,052,118.

The percent of positive COVID-19 tests is currently 7 percent.

Throughout the state, 587 ICU beds and 5,839 inpatient hospital beds are empty.

8 a.m.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been 5,624,721 confirmed COVID-19 cases throughout the United States.

FRIDAY

7:10 p.m.
Durham continues to near its average of COVID-19 cases; health officials reporting Friday night an additional 25 cases, raising the county total to 6,582.

6:14 p.m.
For the second day in a row, Carolina Athletics decided to extends its suspension of all athletic activities through Saturday. The suspension was originally set to expire Thursday at 5 p.m.

So far, the team has not seen a positive case in over a month but have still decided not to practice.

5:35 p.m.
UNC-Chapel Hill reports an additional cluster of COVID-19 cases at the Carmichael residence hall. This marks the fifth cluster at a university residence hall.

As of Friday, the university reports 89 additional cases of the virus: 88 being students, one being an employee. In total, 617 people have tested positive for the virus since February.

5:02 p.m.
In the last day, Wake County saw a sharp dip in COVID-19 cases. The country reports an additional 81 cases, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases to 13,457.

4:30 p.m.
North Carolina State University reported four new COVID-19 clusters, bringing the campus total to nine clusters, almost all of which are at Greek houses.

All four of the new clusters were identified in Greek housing, including three sororities and a fraternity where a party was hosted on August 13.

All students who test positive as part of these clusters will be isolated, and everyone in these houses are being quarantined.

As of Thursday night, at least 892 people affiliated with the university are in quarantine or isolation off-campus and 82 people are using on-campus isolation units.

The Sigma Nu chapter at NC State has since suspended social activities after reportedly not being in compliance with the University’s COVID-19 restrictions.

The fraternity, based out of Lexington, Virginia, issued this statement on Friday evening:
“Sigma Nu Fraternity is aware of a recent social activity at the chapter house of the Beta Tau Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity at North Carolina State University that was reportedly not in compliance with the University’s COVID-19 restrictions.

The Fraternity is working closely with NC State officials to investigate this matter. The chapter’s social activities have been suspended pending the completion of that investigation. The Fraternity appreciates the support being provided by NC State to all students impacted by the ongoing pandemic. The Fraternity expects all members to be aware of and observant of all COVID19 related policies and expectations of their college or university.”

11:45 a.m.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,008 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, a day after state reported 1,979 new cases. This marks the first time this month the number of daily reported cases has been above 2,000.

For the second-straight day, 8% of tests are positive–the highest rate since July 23. Since then, the percentage of positive cases has remained steady at 6-7%. 29 new deaths were reported, bringing the state’s coronavirus-related death total to 2,494.

Currently, 1,015 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, with 90% of hospitals reporting. Across the state, 570 intensive care unit beds and 5,797 inpatient beds are currently available.

The number of cases increased by 7% this week, matching last week’s increase. Hospitalizations decreased by 3% this week after decreasing by 7% last week.

There have now been 151,912 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina since the state began keeping track.

FRIDAY MORNING STORYLINES

Fast-moving developments are happening as Triangle universities continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday UNC made the decision to pause classes next week and NC State is making the move to online learning.

Students in Chapel Hill will have extra days to move out of Chapel Hill as classes were canceled on Monday and Tuesday. UNC is also extending the deadline to drop classes. UNC will start COVID-19 testing at three of its residence halls on Friday: Ehringhaus, Hinton James and Granville Towers. The testing will last until Sunday.
In Raleigh, NCSU has identified two additional clusters of COVID-19 cases; one at a fraternity house and another connected to two homes near the campus.

At East Carolina University, an outbreak of 10 cases on the football team have paused all football activities.

21 inmates at the Wake County Detention Center tested positive for COVID-19. The sheriff’s office said the inmates were all in a single pod, which is now being professionally cleaned. Offenders who tested positive are now being quarantined in single cells.
THURSDAY
8:52 p.m.
After seeing an increase in on-campus cases, UNC-Chapel Hill announced that it will begin COVID-19 testing at three of its residence halls on Friday: Ehringhaus, Hinton James and Granville Towers. The testing will last until Sunday.

The university will also extend its suspension of all athletic-related activities through Friday. The suspension was originally set to expire Thursday at 5 p.m.

7:12 p.m.
Durham County reports 45 additional cases of COVID-19, raising the county total to 6,557.
7:10 p.m.
UNC-Chapel Hill health officials report 528 total COVID-19 cases on campus as of Thursday evening, up 91 from Wednesday. All of them were students.

Out of the 2,620 total tests completed since February, 279 (10.6 percent) have tested positive for the virus.

6:47 p.m.
NC State has identified two additional clusters of COVID-19 cases; one at a fraternity house and another connected to two homes near the campus.

The first was identified at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house in Greek Village, where there are currently seven positive cases.

The second cluster is connected to two homes near Park and Bagwell Avenues, the homes currently have five positives cases between them.

A “cluster” is defined as five or more cases that are deemed close proximity in location, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

All students who tested positive have since been isolated and are being quarantined.

5;02 p.m.
Wake County health officials report 13,313 total COVID-19 cases as of Thursday evening, up 176 from Wednesday.
3:30 p.m.
North Carolina State University Chancellor Randy Woodson announced the school will move all undergraduate classes online on Monday, Aug. 24.

Read more about his announcement here.

2 p.m.
At least 21 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Wake County Detention Center on Hammond Road, according to a news release from the Wake County Sheriff’s Office.
WCSO said many of the inmates who tested positive were asymptomatic and all were detained in the same pod. Inmates who tested positive have been quarantined in single cells, WCSO said, and those who are waiting for test results are in single cells until they test negative.

“The Wake County Sheriff’s Office’s detention center medical staff continues to work with Wake County health officials to reduce increased exposure within the facility,” said Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker in a written statement. “At the onset of this pandemic, our staff has put protocols in place to prevent exposure to both, our employees and residents. We will continue to progressively prevent further exposure of the virus.”

1:30 p.m.
At least 41 more students have tested positive for COVID-19 at North Carolina State University since Wednesday.

According to the university’s dashboard, 95 students and two employees have tested positive since August 10, when classes began.

Currently, 403 students, faculty members and staff are in quarantine or isolation off campus, and 39 of the school’s on-campus isolation units are being used.

12:30 p.m.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,972 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day increase since August 6 when the state reported 1,979 new cases. However, the 7-day rolling average of new cases continues to decline from previous weeks.

To date, 8% of tests are positive–the highest rate since July 23. Since then, the percentage of positive cases has remained steady at 6-7%.
Currently, 1,023 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, with 92% of hospitals reporting. Across the state, 511 intensive care unit beds and 5,528 inpatient beds are currently available.

THURSDAY MORNING STORYLINES

New COVID-19 clusters have been identified at N.C. State University, where in-person classes are still going on. Two clusters are in the Greek Village with another at an off-campus residence on Clark Avenue. NCSU has about 170 isolation rooms for students who test positive. Around 40 of those rooms are currently occupied.

Seven cases at NCSU were identified at the Alpha Delta Pi sorority house and six were identified at the Kappa Delta house.

NCSU’s troubles come after UNC-Chapel Hill has drawn national attention for multiple COVID-19 clusters. UNC has suspended undergraduate in-person instruction and shifted to remote learning.
UNC-Chapel Hill announced that it will be suspending athletic activities for all sports teams until 5 p.m. on Thursday due to an “upward trend” in on-campus COVID-19 cases. UNC Wilmington students returned to classes on Wednesday with an extra emphasis on social distancing. UNCW is reporting seven cases of COVID-19.

The U.S. has more than 5,529,933 cases of the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Copyright © 2020 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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