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COVID-19 in the Carolinas: NC hospitalizations top 2,000 for first time since pandemic began

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday reported a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations for the fifth day in a row with 2,033.

This is the first time hospitalizations topped 2,000 since the pandemic began in March.

206 new patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 were admitted to hospitals in the past 24 hours. The state said 241 people with suspected cases were also admitted.

More than 2,800 new cases in the state were also reported Tuesday.

A total of 2,883 new cases were reported on Tuesday. The percent positive rate was at 10.2%, which has been steadily increasing over the last week.

>> Have questions about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the Carolinas? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak -- CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

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[COUNTY-BY-COUNTY COVID-19 RESOURCE GUIDE]

[CORONAVIRUS IN THE CAROLINAS; HERE’S HOW TO STAY INFORMED]

Note: The numbers we show you every day mean everything in how our community recovers from coronavirus -- both in terms of healthcare and the economy -- but they don’t mean much without the proper context and as much transparency as possible.

New cases vary day by day based on a lot of factors. That can include how long it takes to get results back, so a new case reported today can really be several days old.

The other big metric we watch is the percent of positive cases. This is data we can only get from the state because it’s not as simple as factoring a percent of new cases each day from the number of tests. That’s because test results take days and come from a variety of places.

What about closer to home?

As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 43,983 cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) with 456 deaths due to COVID-19 reported among Mecklenburg County residents.

Data as of November 29 are presented in more detail below. 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 5PM are counted in the following days case count.

Highlights about the 43,380 COVID-19 cases reported in Mecklenburg County as of November 29, 2020 include:

  • About 3 in 4 reported cases were adults ages 20 to 59 years old.
  • About 1 in 20 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.
  • About 8 out of 10 have met CDC criteria to be released from isolation.
  • During the past week, an average of 356 laboratory confirmed infections were reported compared to the 14-day average of 350 confirmed infections. This represents an increase over the last 14 days. These data are based on Mecklenburg resident cases reported to MCPH.
  • During the past week, an average of 208 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 8.9 percent of individuals who were tested in Mecklenburg County were positive for COVID-19.  This represents an increase in trends over the last 14 days. These data only include ELRs for molecular (PCR) tests submitted to NC DHHS for laboratories electronically submitting negative and positive COVID-19 results.
  • Four hundred-fifty-four deaths due to COVID-19 occurred among reported cases.
  • Almost all deaths were among older adults (≥ 60 years), 5 deaths occurred in adults ages 20 to 39 and 62 deaths were adults ages 40 to 59.
  • All deaths, except seven, 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.
  • Half of deaths were connected to active outbreaks at long-term care (LTC) facilities.
  • Among deaths not connected to outbreaks at long-term care facilities, nearly 3 in 4 were non-White, with 40 percent being non-Hispanic Black. As previously noted, these disparities are largely driven by higher rates of underlying chronic conditions that increase risk of severe complications due to COVID-19 infection among these communities
  • Based on publicly available mobility tracking data, social distancing slightly increased in Mecklenburg County over the last 14 days.