2021 is starting off with a rise in Covid-19 cases across the state. It’s the most North Carolina has seen yet, with its highest one-day number at 9,527 new cases reported on Jan. 1.
New Year’s Day beat out the previous highest one-day number from Dec. 18 by more than 1,000, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Covid-19 dashboard. Cases reported at noon on Jan. 2 clocked in at 9,356, only 171 less than on the first.
Other key metrics increased, including percentage of positive tests at 15.5% — again, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic. Also on the rise are hospitalizations, with 3,479 people receiving care and 783 people in ICU.
NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said in a press release: “We begin 2021 in our most dangerous position in this pandemic. We have critically high rates of spread in much of our state. I encourage you to avoid getting together indoors with anyone who doesn’t live with you. If you plan to see other people keep it outside and very small. Wear a mask the whole time. We must do all that we can to protect one another.”
Dr. Cohen also noted in last week’s press conference that N.C. has yet to see the increase from holiday travels, which are likely to come by mid-January.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force reminded N.C. citizens earlier in the week about steps to take in preventing the spread of Covid-19. It recommended people under 40 who visited with others during Christmas and New Year’s to assume they’re infected and asymptomatic carriers who need to isolate as to avoid infecting anyone at risk.
The task force also reminded folks over 65, especially with underlying health conditions, to stay out of indoor spaces where folks are not wearing masks, and consider having all groceries and medications delivered.
N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper put a Modified Stay at Home Order in effect through Jan. 8. Citizens of N.C. are required to be home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and businesses like restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, retail stores and others must close by 10 p.m. All onsite alcohol consumption sales must end by 9 p.m.
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