The number of new COVID-19 cases in North Carolina spiked to new high on Saturday as old positive tests were recently reported to the state, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

DHHS reported 2,585 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 165,076.

The previous record for a one-day increase in new cases was set on July 18 when the number reached 2,481.

The increase in new cases is due, in part, to about 1,000 positive tests from the first half of August that were reported to the state by LabCorp in the past 24 hours, according to a DHHS news release.

“The Department is working with LabCorp to understand the cause of the delayed reporting; however, LabCorp confirmed that individuals were not delayed in receiving their results.”

Over the past week, the number of new cases identified daily dropped to as low as 1,244 on Wednesday but jumped back up to 2,091 on Thursday.

The number of completed COVID-19 tests also hit a new record after they increased by 35,258 Saturday to 2,218,149. The previous record of 31,724 new tests was set on Thursday.

More than 8% of tests were positive Friday, higher than the 5% or less than state health officials want.

The number of COVID-19 related deaths increased by 31 Saturday to 2,683.

According to DHHS, the number of those in the state hospitalized for COVID-19 fell by five on Saturday to 965. The hospitalization numbers are based on 90% of the hospitals reporting, which is down from the previous day’s 93% reporting.

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 the COVID-19 dashboard is preliminary and can be adjusted as more reporting is collected. They advise looking at trends over a period of time.

Schools challenges continue

The new numbers come at the end of another week of college campuses dealing with outbreaks after starting school.

N.C. State announced two new coronavirus clusters on Friday, bringing the university’s total clusters to 31 as students started moving off the campus on Thursday after the school closed dorms for most students, The News & Observer reported.

COVID-19 cases among students at UNC-Chapel Hill topped 1,000.

Durham Public Schools closed its learning center at W.G. Pearson Elementary until Sept. 2 after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, The News & Observer reported. The learning sites were set up to help students as the district has shifted to remote learning during the pandemic.

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