COVID-19 in the Carolinas: Positive case rate in NC remains steady

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported another 1,313 confirmed COVID-19 cases Monday after completing nearly 24,000 new tests.

The NCDHHS percent positive COVID-19 rate remained steady at 7%.

Thirteen more people have died from the virus, moving the virus’ death toll in North Carolina up to 1,982.

The state’s numbers showed 85 fewer people in the hospital with the virus, but a lower percentage of hospitals (only 79%) successfully reported their bed space for Monday’s update.

And for questions about how the state comes up with its numbers, click here.

>> 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.

Coronavirus task force leader reiterates need to wear masks during ‘new phase’ of pandemic

White House coronavirus task force leader Dr. Deborah Birx says widespread coronavirus infections in urban and rural America mark a “new phase” for the pandemic as she doubled down on calls to wear face masks and observe social distancing measures.

Birx, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning, said “What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread.”

Birx said mitigation efforts across the west and the south are beginning to work but warned that people need to take the virus seriously and employ significant safety precautions when cases first begin to tick up.

Negotiations on a huge COVID-19 relief bill are set to resume, but the path forward promises to be challenging. The Trump administration negotiating team and top Capitol Hill Democrats reported progress over the weekend even as they highlighted their differences. Ahead of Monday’s talks, all sides predict a long slog ahead despite the lapse of a $600-per-week supplemental jobless benefit, the beginning of school season and the call of lawmakers’ cherished August recess.

At least several more days of talks are expected. The White House is seeking opportunities to boost President Donald Trump, like more $1,200 stimulus payments. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants big money for state and local governments.

The coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 689,000 people worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 4,667,000 cases have been confirmed in the United States.