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TUESDAY MORNING STORYLINES
A report on COVID-19 from the White House Coronavirus Task Force released on Sunday reveals new information about how North Carolina is doing in comparison to the rest of the country. The report lists the following metrics for the state:
- North Carolina is in the yellow zone for cases, indicating between 10 and 100 new cases per 100,000 population last week, and the yellow zone
for test positivity, indicating a rate between 5% and 10%.
- Nationally, North Carolina was 21st for most new cases per 100,000 population and 18th for highest test positivity last week.
- North Carolina has seen stability in new cases and stability in test positivity over the last week.
- The following three counties had the highest number of new cases over the past 3 weeks: 1. Mecklenburg County, 2. Wake County, and 3. Guilford County. These counties represent 23.4 percent of new cases in North Carolina.
- 79% of all counties in North Carolina have ongoing community transmission (yellow or red alert), with 15% having high levels of community transmission (red alert).
- Between Aug 15 – Aug 21, on average, 94 patients with confirmed COVID-19 and 329 patients with suspected COVID-19 were reported as newly admitted each day to hospitals in North Carolina. An average of 89 percent of hospitals reported either new confirmed or new suspected COVID patients each day during this period; therefore, this may be an underestimate of the actual total number of COVID-related hospitalizations. Underreporting may lead to a lower allocation of critical supplies.*
NC State University and East Carolina University both identified new clusters of COVID-19 on Monday.
NC State identified three new clusters. Nine of the positive cases were from Carroll Residence Hall. The second cluster was at The Standard Apartment Complex with five cases, all of whom are NC State students. The third cluster was 27 cases within NC State Athletics, however, not all of the cases are student-athletes.
ECU said six positive cases had been reported each at Jones Hall and White Hall.
Latest COVID-19 numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University as of 5 a.m.:
DIAGNOSED CASES: 5,740,909
TOTAL TESTED: 72,889,910
NC State has identified three new clusters of COVID-19. Nine positive cases are located in Carroll Residence Hall.
The second cluster is at The Standard Apartment Complex with five cases, all of whom are NC State students.
The third cluster is 27 cases within NC State Athletics, however, not all of the cases are student-athletes.
NC State has temporarily paused all athletic-related activities due to the cluster within the athletics program.
“Based on the information available to us, we are making the necessary and swift decision to pause athletic-related activities until we have additional information,” said Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan. “We will continue to work with all appropriate parties to evaluate the most responsible path moving forward and will provide further details when available.”
NC State said 222 students and four employees have tested positive from Aug. 10-23. There were 49 new student cases reported Sunday. So far, 51 percent of on campus units are full. As of Aug. 24, 697 are in quarantine/isolation off campus and 86 are in quarantine/isolation on campus.
Wake County is reporting 95 new COVID-19 cases since Sunday, bringing the total to 13,931.
UNC-Chapel Hill is reporting 835 total reported COVID-19 cases, including 784 students and 51 employees to date.
UNC is reporting 77 new student cases on Saturday and 58 new student cases on Sunday.
For the week of Aug. 17 to Aug. 23, UNC is reporting 31.3 percent positive test rate with 465 tests out of 1,528 being positive.
North Carolina health officials estimate a total of 136,630 COVID-19 patients are presumed to be recovered. That’s up 8,881 from last Monday’s update.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) estimates a median time to recovery of 14 days from the date of specimen collection for non-fatal COVID-19 cases who were not hospitalized, or if hospitalization status is unknown.
Lee County is reporting 52 more cases of COVID-19 since last Monday, bringing the total to 1,375.
There have been 11 deaths county-wide.
East Carolina University has identified clusters of COVID-19 in two residence halls. There are currently six positive cases related to Jones Hall and six related to White Hall.
A “cluster” is defined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as five or more cases that are deemed close proximity in location. “Location” is defined as a single residential hall or dwelling.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on Monday reported the lowest single-day number of completed tests in more than a month. 9,003 completed tests were reported.
This comes after Gov. Roy Cooper and Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced last week that over the last few weeks, testing sites have seen a decrease in the number of people asking to be tested.
Because of that, Cooper announced that NCDHHS was working on a renewed push to provide free testing in communities where it’s needed.
“Cost should not prevent people from getting a test particularly if they have symptoms, have been exposed or work in high-risk jobs,” he said.
Also on Monday, 1,281 new cases were also reported.
The percent positive in the state has been holding steady around 7 percent.
Four additional deaths were reported in the state, bringing the total to 2,535 since the start of the pandemic.
948 people are currently hospitalized in North Carolina.
Duke University announced it will not admit fans to home fall sporting events, including football games at Wallace Wade Stadium, this year.
“To be sure, our venues will not be the same without our passionate, energetic fan base,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White. “Given the unique and challenging circumstances, this determination was reached with the health and safety of our fans, student-athletes, coaches and staff at the forefront. As this evolving process continues, it is imperative to be both adaptable and compliant in anticipation of hosting fans in the near future.”
Fans with season tickets for football will receive an email from the athletic department with options on how to proceed.
Duke Coach David Cutcliffe told media they’ve been testing twice a week to try and stay on top of it and he’s proud of his players for being diligent and taking the pandemic seriously. The Blue Devils begin the season at Notre Dame on Sept. 12.
Earlier this month, ACC officials said they were moving forward with plans for fall sports with the caveat that they would make decisions based on medical advice.
Bacon fans have another reason to lament the COVID-19 pandemic. The North Carolina Bacon Festival has been canceled.
The festival was originally scheduled for Oct. 10 and 11 in Rocky Point. The festival’s Facebook page reads “We have tried everything to make it happen this year, but we cannot operate under phase two.”
MONDAY MORNING STORYLINES
N.C. State University goes all virtual on Monday while North Carolina Central University students return to in-person learning amid heightened safety protocols. NCCU said they are ramping up their precautions, requiring everyone to wear masks, mandating temperature checks and placing hand sanitizing stations around campus. When students returned to class, they were at 60% of credit hours taking place online.
East Carolina University students will shift to virtual learning on Wednesday. NCSU will be all online through the rest of the fall semester.
Monday should provide an update on the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 in North Carolina. The state’s latest numbers on deaths, hospitalizations and cases should be unveiled around noon Monday.
The Clayton Fire Department has had 17 firefighters test positive for COVID-19 with five having been hospitalized. The station and the mayor have a scheduled press conference for Monday at 11:30 a.m.
Those in Harnett County can get free cloth face masks later this week. Masks will be distributed at Harnett Central High School on Wednesday and Overhills High School on Thursday. Both locations will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Durham County health officials report 6,648 total COVID-19 cases as of Sunday evening, up 32 from Saturday.
The Clayton Fire Department announced it now has an additional firefighter and their spouse in the hospital as of Sunday evening.
In total, this now means five people associated with the fire department are in the hospital.
“We have been humbled and blessed by the outpouring of support,” Clayton officials wrote.
On Saturday, the Clayton Fire Department said three firefighters had been hospitalized with COVID-19 and14 others tested positive for the virus.
NC State has identified two additional clusters of COVID-19 in Greek Village: one at the Delta Zeta sorority house, the other at the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house.
There are 28 positive cases at the Delta Zeta sorority house and 13 at the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house, according to a news release.
This brings the total number of clusters associated with the campus to 11.
UNC has identified a cluster of COVID-19 at Avery residence hall.
A “cluster” is defined as five or more cases that are deemed close proximity in location, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
This marks the 10th reported cluster at UNC.
North Carolina health officials are reporting 1,427 more COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 155,113.
Why you might see different numbers of COVID-19 cases depending where you look
With 84 percent of hospitals reporting, hospitalizations have dipped below 900 for the first time in at least a month. There are currently 898 patients hospitalized.
Ten more people have died, bringing the total to 2,531.
The state is reporting 26,354 more completed tests, bringing the total to 2,078,472. According to NCDHHS, 7 percent of tests are positive.
UNC-Charlotte will delay in-person classes until Oct. 1. Classes will begin as scheduled on Sept. 7 but will be conducted remotely. All undergraduate classes will be suspended on Sept. 28 and 29 to allow for new campus move-in dates.
East Carolina University will move undergraduate classes online for the remainder of the fall semester starting Wednesday, Aug. 26 due to recent COVID-19 clusters on campus.
Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson made the announcement Sunday morning. Classes at ECU began Aug. 10.
“This decision to move online for the fall semester was not made lightly,” said Mitchelson. “We are appreciative of the ongoing support and approval of our plan to move forward by UNC System President Peter Hans and public health experts. We believe this decision is best for the well-being of our entire
ECU moves undergraduate classes online for rest of fall semester amid COVID-19, UNC Charlotte to delay in-person classes 3 weeks
Undergraduate classes will be suspended Monday and Tuesday so students and faculty can adjust to the semester schedule change.
University residence halls will begin move-out this week, concluding on Aug. 30.
“Quite clearly this is a difficult time for all of Pirate Nation,” Mitchelson said. “No Pirate can feel good about the sequence of events that we have coped with since March. If ever there was a time for Pirate Nation to come together and to support one another, it is now. If ever there was a time for us to care for
one another, it is now. If ever there was a time for Pirates to be compassionate, it is right now.”
According from data from Johns Hopkins University, there have been 5,668,564 COVID-19 cases in the United States.
Copyright © 2020 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.