Craven County reached two grim milestones this week in its continuing journey through the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, on the positive side, hospitalizations were at 20 on Friday after reaching highs in the 30s during previous weeks, and the number of new cases over a 14-day period has dropped below 800 for the first time since the Christmas Break.
The county passed 7,000 lab-confirmed cases and 100 COVID-19-related deaths, according to statistics maintained by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
There were about a dozen deaths in Craven County over the past week, a record since the pandemic started here in March 2020.
NCDHHS said Craven County has 7,137 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021, and 104 deaths.
Craven County continues to lead its neighboring counties in deaths, even ahead of Pitt County, which has a significantly larger population AND COVID-19 case count, at 15,301 lab-confirmed cases, but 71 deaths.
Nearby, Onslow County, another larger county with a larger COVID-19 case count than in Craven, had trailed Craven County in deaths until recently, and has recorded 112 deaths.
North Carolina has extended its Modified Stay At Home Order, requiring people to be at home from 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. Face covering requirements and restrictions on individuals gathering in both indoor and outdoor settings are still in place. Executive Order No. 189 will be in effect through at least Sunday, Feb 28, 2021 at 5 p.m.
The extension of Executive Order No. 190 allowing for the sale of “to-go” or delivery of mixed beverages will continue to help businesses that are struggling right now. The extension of Executive Order No. 191 will help families have the ability to stay in their homes, a critical component of slowing the spread of the virus.
The Executive Orders for “to-go” or delivery sales of mixed beverages and the evictions moratorium both received concurrence from the Council of State.
“With more than 3,300 people in the hospital, and the percent of positive tests in double digits, we know this virus is still spreading,” Gov. Roy Cooper said this week. “And with at least one new contagious variant of COVID-19 in our state, we still have work to do. We cannot let our guard down, especially in these cold winter months.”
In addition to the Modified Stay at Home Order, the DHHS secretarial directive remains in effect. People should stay home and only leave for essential purposes such as buying food, accessing health care, and going to school or work.
North Carolina continues to administer COVID-19 vaccines across the state. As of today, 99.8 percent of all first doses received by the state were reported as being administered and 859,695 total doses have been administered.
Vaccine supply continues to be very low and the state is hopeful for more vaccine to be on the way. On a call with Governor Cooper and other governors yesterday, the Biden Administration committed to increase vaccine shipments to the states by 16 percent over the next 3 weeks.
On Tuesday, NCDHHS expanded its vaccine data dashboard to provide information about vaccine doses allocated to and received by the state and updated guidance to ensure equitable distribution and speed of administration.
North Carolinians can find out when they will be eligible to get their vaccine through a new online tool, Find My Vaccine Group. The screener walks users through a series of questions to determine which vaccine group they fall in. Learn more about North Carolina’s vaccine rollout at YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov.
On Jan. 23, NCDHHS reported the first identified case of B.1.1.7 COVID-19 Variant in North Carolina. Early data suggest that this variant may be more contagious than other variants and state health officials continue to recommend staying at home when possible and practicing the 3 “W’s:” Wear a face covering, Wait 6 feet apart and Wash your hands.
Here are other trends in North Carolina:
- North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is decreasing, but high.
- Trajectory of confirmed cases over 14 days is stabilizing, but high.
- Trajectory in percent of tests returning positive over 14 days is leveling, but high.
- North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is leveling, but high.
- Testing capacity remains high.
- There have been more than 666,000 downloads of the exposure notification app, SlowCOVIDNC.
- North Carolina’s personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable.