COVID-19 in the Carolinas: Percent positive rate in Meck County dips to 4.4%

COVID-19 in the Carolinas: Percent positive rate in Meck County dips to 4.4%
(Luca Bruno)

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,734 more COVID-19 cases across the state on Tuesday.

According to the state dashboard, the 7-day trend line for the trajectory of new cases has been increasing through the month of October after dropping and stabilizing in September. NCDHHS Dr. Mandy Cohen said the increase through the month of October is not linked to any specific group of people or area of activity.

The state also reported 20,630 more completed tests, including 20,407 PCR tests and 223 antigen tests. As of Sunday, 7.1% of tests were positive, a sharp increase from the end of last week when the percentage of positive tests dipped closer to 5%.

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Currently, there are 1,103 people hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, marking the second day in a row that the metric remained above 1,100 for the first time since August.

In the past 24 hours, 344 suspected COVID-19 patients were admitted to North Carolina hospitals.

43 more people have died from COVID-19. Since the end of March, 3,816 people have died from the virus in North Carolina.

>> 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.

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 morning, there were 30,534 cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) with 368 deaths due to COVID-19 reported among Mecklenburg County residents.

The percent positive and total tests trends have been updated to now only include Mecklenburg County residents, based on electronic laboratory reports (ELR) submitted to the NCDHHS.

Highlights about the 30,232 COVID-19 cases reported in Mecklenburg County as of October 11, 2020 include:

  • About 3 in 4 reported cases were adults ages 20 to 59 years old.
  • About 1 in 4 reported cases are Hispanic – most of whom are younger adults. 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.
  • 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 99 laboratory-confirmed infections were reported compared to the 14-day average of 94 confirmed infections. These data are based on Mecklenburg resident cases reported to MCPH.
  • During the past week, an average of 84 individuals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infections were hospitalized at acute care facilities in Mecklenburg County. 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 4.4 percent of individuals who were tested in Mecklenburg County were positive for COVID-19. These data only include ELRs for molecular (PCR) tests submitted to NC DHHS for laboratories electronically submitting negative and positive COVID-19 results.
  • Three hundred-sixty-eight deaths due to COVID-19 occurred among reported cases.
  • Almost all deaths were among older adults (≥ 60 years), 4 deaths occurred in adults ages 20 to 39 and 48 deaths were adults ages 40 to 59.
  • All deaths, except five, 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.
  • More than 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 then slightly decreased in Mecklenburg County over the last 14 days. Overall, this represents a fairly stable trend over the last 14 days.