New NC COVID-19 cases top 3,000 for 5th day in a row; deaths surpass 5,000

New NC COVID-19 cases top 3,000 for 5th day in a row; deaths surpass 5,000
FILE PHOTO: Liza Collins, a travel nurse from Ville Platte, La., administers a COVID-19 test at the Rutherford County Health Department, Thursday, July 2, 2020, in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Travel nurses are supplementing staffing at hospitals across the country as the coronavirus pandemic continues. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 3,415 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the fifth day in a row the state has reported more than 3,000 cases.

On Thursday, the state reported a record increase in cases (4,296).

According to health officials, 5,005 people have died in North Carolina due to the virus since March.

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In the latest data, North Carolina has reported a total of 4,860,430 completed tests since the start of the pandemic. As of Thursday, 8.5% of tests were positive. Though the percentage of positive tests was stabilizing around 7% for the second half of October, it has increased sharply to hover around 8% for the first half of November.

Currently, 1,590 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, the highest number reported by the state.

Though it’s hard to say if this is a record for hospitalizations because the state changed the way it reports hospitalizations last week, it is an increase from the past few days.

>> 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.

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