NC percent positive sits right under 5%; some parents allowed at college football games

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,229 new COVID-19 cases and 35 deaths on Saturday, bringing the death toll above 3,235 since the end of March.

The state also reported 14,219 completed tests and a percent positivity rate of 4.8%.

Currently, 882 people are hospitalized across the state with COVID-19 with 96% of hospitals reporting. In the last 24 hours, 360 suspected COVID-19 patients were admitted to hospitals.

As of Friday, 293 adult intensive care unit patients have COVID-19. There are 568 available ICU beds across the state.

>> 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.

Some parents will be allowed to attend collegiate sporting events to watch their children play. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter to NC State football players' parents describing the decision.

In the letter, NCDHHS said it is seeing “positive signs” when it comes to COVID-19 metrics. Still, NCDHHS wants to be cautious and continue stressing efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.

With those things in mind, the department said it would support colleges and universities developing plans and protocols to allow families to attend the games.

The letter listed the following three requirements:

  • These protocols must include promoting the 3Ws of Wash, Wear and Wait and ensuring social distancing between groups of families, face coverings, as well as restricting alcohol and concessions.
  • In the event there are clusters of COVID-19 on the athletic team, no parent spectators should be permitted.
  • If the above criteria is met, DHHS supports NC colleges and universities including 2 family member spectators per athlete for up to 350 total per event.


As of Saturday afternoon, there were 27,431 cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) with 339 deaths due to COVID-19 reported among Mecklenburg County residents.

Highlights about the 27,394 COVID-19 cases reported in Mecklenburg County as of September 16, 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 78 laboratory-confirmed infections were reported compared to the 14-day average of 80 confirmed infections. These data are based on Mecklenburg resident cases reported to MCPH.
  • During the past week, an average of 104 individuals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infections were hospitalized at acute care facilities in Mecklenburg County.  Overall, this represents a decrease 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 5.6 percent of individuals who were tested in Mecklenburg County were positive for COVID-19. This represents a decrease over the last 14 days. These data only include tests conducted in Mecklenburg County by Atrium Health, Novant Health, CVS Health, Walgreens Pharmacy and Tryon Medical Partners as available. Tryon Medical Partners began providing data as of August 11, 2020. Reporting of negative results to MCPH is not required or covered by communicable disease reporting laws. MCPH will include results from other providers and laboratories as accurate, consistent and timely reporting mechanisms are established.
  • Three hundred-forty-one 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 45 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.