Coronavirus in the Carolinas: NC sees record high for COVID-19 hospitalizations

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Here is a roundup of what’s happening so far today, June 9, surrounding COVID-19 in both North Carolina and South Carolina. Scroll below for live, local real-time minute-by-minute updates.

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Live, local updates from Tuesday:

South Carolina’s Latest COVID-19 Update

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced 434 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and 11 additional deaths.

This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 15,228 and those who have died to 568.

Read more here.


CATS to Distribute Free Cloth Face Masks to Riders

On Wednesday, June 10, CATS will make 16,000 cloth face masks available to transit riders. Mask distribution will occur at the Charlotte Transportation Center (CTC). Mask distribution will occur in two locations: the arena side of the light rail platform and the 4th Street plaza of the CTC.


NC sees record high for COVID-19 hospitalizations

North Carolina’s hospitalizations from coronavirus continue to grow. The state hit a record high for hospitalizations Tuesday, with 774 people currently in the hospital with severe COVID-19 symptoms -- 35 more than the number reported Monday, setting a record for the fourth time in June.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 676 new cases in the past 24 hours, along with 15,598 completed tests Tuesday. Twenty-three more people have died, bringing the total number of deaths to 1,029.

The additional 676 new COVID-19 cases bring the state’s total to 37,160, while the 15,598 completed tests bring the total number of completed tests in the state to 535,711.

Mecklenburg County continues to lead the state in both cases and deaths with at least 5,744 and 114 respectively.

For the first time since the outbreak began, the state has a full 30-day supply of personal protective equipment.

Confirmed cases by age:

0-17 (8%)

18-24 (11%)

25-49 (45%)

50-64 (21%)

65-74 (7%)

75 or older (8%)

COVID-19 deaths by age:

25-49 (4%)

50-64 (13%)

65-74 (20%)

75 or older (62%)

Cases by race:

White: 54%

Black: 27%

Cases by gender:

Women: 50%

Men: 50%

(Men account for 53% of deaths)

Cases and deaths in congregate living settings:

There are 98 outbreaks in nursing homes across the state, resulting in 3,660 cases and 544 deaths.

There are 52 outbreaks at residential care facilities across the state, resulting in 929 cases and 80 deaths.


Data for Mecklenburg County COVID-19 Cases Reported as of June 7

As of 10 a.m. today, there were 5,456 cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) with 114 deaths due to COVID-19 reported among Mecklenburg County residents. Data from the previous day are further described below.

As of June 7, 2020, 5,214 cases of and 113 deaths due to COVID-19 among county residents were reported to Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH).

MCPH provides these routine updates about reported cases of COVID-19 to help our community better understand how this pandemic is developing in our county. These results only reflect laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 among county residents. Many individuals infected by COVID-19 have not been tested because they are asymptomatic. As such, these results are very fluid and only represent a fraction of the true burden of COVID-19 in our community.

Daily case counts provided by MCPH may differ from state and federal counts due to delays in reporting to the various entities. MCPH updates case counts after an initial case review and, where possible, a patient interview is conducted, which includes confirming county residency. Cases reported after 5 p.m. are counted in the following day’s case count.

Highlights about the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County as of June 7, 2020 include:

  • About 3 in 4 reported cases were adults ages 20 to 59 years old.
  • More than a third of reported cases are Hispanic – most of whom are younger adults. The high number of reported cases among young Hispanics over the last several weeks remains a significant concern. As previously noted, some factors influencing this trend include:
  • Targeted testing occurring in neighborhoods with lower access to care, some of which have larger Hispanic populations;
  • Higher proportions of Hispanics working in essential jobs that make social distancing difficult;
  • Significant household spread among large families; and
  • Pre-existing disparities in other social and economic determinants of health, like poverty.

MCPH continues to expand outreach to Hispanic members of our community, including increased dissemination of the outreach toolkit in Spanish for community partners, setting up targeted outreach to Hispanic owned- and serving-businesses, and partnering with local organizations and media outlets to spread key prevention messages.

  • About 1 in 10 reported cases were hospitalized due to their COVID-19 infection. While everyone is at risk for severe COVID-19 complications, reported cases who were older adults (≥ 60 years) were more likely to be hospitalized compared to younger individuals.
  • More than half of cases have met CDC criteria to be released from isolation.
  • During the past week, an average of 98 individuals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infections were hospitalized at acute care facilities in Mecklenburg County. This represents an increase over the last 14-days. These data are based on daily census counts from acute care facilities in Mecklenburg County reporting to MCPH.
  • During the past week, an average of 9.7 percent of individuals who were tested were positive for COVID-19. This represents an increase over the last 14-days. These data only include tests conducted by Atrium Health and Novant Health.
  • One hundred-thirteen deaths due to COVID-19 occurred among reported cases.
  • Almost all deaths were among older adults (≥ 60 years), 8 deaths were adults ages 40 to 59.
  • All deaths, except one, occurred among adults with underlying chronic illnesses.
  • More than half were non-Hispanic Whites. The disparity in COVID-19 deaths among non-Hispanic Whites is related to differences in race/ethnicity of residents of long-term care (LTC) facilities actively experiencing an outbreak.
  • Nearly 2 out of 3 deaths were connected to active outbreaks at long-term care (LTC) facilities.
  • Based on publicly available mobility tracking data, there was a decrease in social distancing in Mecklenburg County over the last 14-days. Despite this downward trend, social distancing remains higher than before the Stay at Home Order became effective on March 26, 2020.


Gov. Cooper to get COVID-19 test

Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to get a COVID-19 test on Tuesday. Cooper’s office said he interacted with some protesters recently and encourages anyone who has been in a crowd to get tested.

North Carolina has one of the highest rates of positive COVID-19 tests in the country, according to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen. Cohen said she was concerned about the recent upward trend in positive cases.

Cooper echoed those concerns but said he was still pursuing a Phase 2.5 opening that would allow bars and gyms to reopen in some capacity ahead of Phase 3.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 23,653 people are presumed to have recovered from COVID-19 in North Carolina, an increase of 4,793 patients from last week and 64% of the total number of cases.

In order to calculate the number of recovered patients, NCDHHS uses the median recovery time of 14 days for non-hospitalized patients and 28 days for hospitalized patients. Because patient-specific data is not available for every case, these numbers are estimates and not exact totals.


NC Senate to vote on bill to reopen gyms, bars

Gym and bar owners frustrated and forced to stay shut down are now getting some help from state lawmakers.

North Carolina’s Senate is slated to vote on a bill Tuesday that would allow gyms and bars to reopen with strict safety guidelines.

They were supposed to vote Monday but held off so Senate leaders could include outdoor spaces in the bill and additional outdoor dining for restaurants.

The senator sponsoring the bill said it would also give Gov. Roy Cooper flexibility to close those businesses again, with permission of the Council of State.

We know several gym owners in support of this, but the governor said he’s concern about the current number of COVID-19 cases in the state.

Senators behind the bill believe they have enough votes to pass it later Tuesday, but the governor would have to sign it into law.


South Carolina Announces Latest COVID-19 Update

SCDHEC on Monday announced 542 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and 11 additional deaths. This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 14,800 and those who have died to 557.

Read more here.


NC Designates Child Protective Services and Adult Protective Services Workers as Emergency First Responders

Today, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced that child protective services and adult protective services workers are designated as first responders. This classification will help these critical workers access Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed while working in situations that require face-to-face contact with adults, children and families amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Face-to-face contact is often essential for child protective services and adult protective services work,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “This designation will help these emergency workers have the tools they need to stay safe while continuing to serve vulnerable children, adults and families.”

Child protective services and adult protective services are essential to protecting children and adults who are suspected or who have been found to be abused, neglected or exploited. These essential workers need access to complete information to effectively access child and adult safety and well-being. In many cases, the firsthand observation needed to obtain this information requires face-to-face contact with children, adults and families.

The new designation for child protective services and adult protective services workers is in addition to other measures intended to limit face-to-face contacts to the extent possible or conduct visits virtually.