North Carolina sees highest single-day case increase since start of pandemic

Days after the highest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases this month, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on Saturday reported 2,585 cases -- the highest number of daily virus cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

The second highest was reported on July 18 with 2,481 cases.

Out of the cases reported Saturday, approximately 1,000 positive tests were from earlier in August, according to NCDHHS. Officials are working to determine why LabCorp delayed reporting those cases.

LabCorp said the people who were tested got their results on time, but the report to the state came in late.

18,647 tests were reported as completed, making the percent positive in the state 8.4%. Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen has said she wants that number to be closer to 5% or under.

The state is currently seeing an average testing turnaround time of 2.1 days.

42% of the cases in the state are people age 25 to 49, while 16% are people age 18 to 24. 19% are in people age 50 to 64.

31 more deaths were reported on Saturday, bringing the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 2,652.

965 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in 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.


As of 5 p.m. on Aug. 26, 2020, there were 24,952 cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) with 290 deaths due to COVID-19 reported among Mecklenburg County residents.

  • About 3 in 4 reported cases were adults ages 20 to 59 years old.
  • About in 10 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.

MCPH continues to expand outreach to Hispanic members of our community, including increased dissemination of the outreach toolkit in Spanish for community partners, setting up targeted outreach to Hispanic owned- and serving-businesses, and partnering with local organizations and media outlets to spread key prevention messages.

  • 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 3 out of 4 have met CDC criteria to be released from isolation.
  • During the past week, an average of 130 laboratory-confirmed infections were reported compared to the 14-day average of 118 confirmed infections. These data are based on Mecklenburg resident cases reported to MCPH.
  • During the past week, an average of 140 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 6.4 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. These data were validated and included for the first time in this report. Given the overall volume, the addition had very little impact on the overall trends. 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. MCPH
  • Two hundred-ninety 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 39 deaths were adults ages 40 to 59.
  • All deaths, except three, 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.