The eight-county region in and around Craven County has seen an increase of three deaths and 246 lab-confirmed cases over the past week.

Craven County, meanwhile, has recovered from the spike in cases caused by a cluster that first started appearing in mid-May that added more than 150 cases. The cluster included family, friends, and co-workers and was apparently ignited at a food processing plant in Lenoir County.

That’s the good news. Not so good news is the fact that the pace of new cases in the county is accelerating at more than twice the pace than was experienced before the cluster.

On top of that, the pace appears to be increasing for community transmissions — cases for which the source is unknown.

That slight uptick, visible as the gold line on the graphic below, could be attributed to softening of restrictions under Phase 1 on May 8 and Phase 2 on May 22.

With new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continuing to rise statewide, North Carolina won’t move to Phase 3 on Friday, which had been the earliest projected start date to return the state to more normal operations.

As long as people continue to conduct their lives as if there was no pandemic, the numbers will continue to rise.

9 Comments

  1. Once again, I am bothered by the “sky is falling” conclusion. Of course the case count is going to increase and so will hospitalizations…the virus has not been eradicated. I do not think it is reasonable to conclude that we must lockdown the state until there is no virus or until there is a proven vaccine.
    More importantly, look at the mortality rate using the numbers available from the State. That rate has dropped drastically. I don’t know why and won’t speculate, but clearly the risk of death to most is much lower. I believe we should take the necessary actions to protect the most vulnerable and allow life to go on for the rest of the population.

  2. I don’t see enough masks out there to stop the spread. Also there is little social distancing, if any. If you want to be safe, you have to put in the work.

  3. No, it is not! What is infection rate? There are no numbers for that. The closest parameter is percent of total tests positive and that has been nearly flat for over a month, according to the yellow line on the State plot.

    1. Author

      Here are the stats. I have omitted the period of the Craven County super cluster, May 13-June 8, which added more than 150 cases to the county.

      March 14-31: 6 cases – per-day average less than one
      April: 36 cases – per-day average just over one
      May 1-12 17 cases – per day average just over one
      June 9-18 74 cases – per day average 7.4

      In short, the infection rate for Craven County is seven times higher over the past 10 days than it was prior to the super cluster, when the daily average increase hovered around one case.

  4. This is not infection rate, this is cases per day. The experts recognize that one cannot draw conclusions from cases per day, which is why they also chart percentage of tests that are positive. We do not have that data for Craven County, only for the whole state. Except for recognized clusters, it is unreasonable to assume that behaviors in Craven County in Phase 2 and later are much different than throughout the State. Of course the case count is going to increase, but it is very encouraging that the death rate has dropped. I wish you would not join the major media in reaching alarming conclusions that are not supported by ALL of the facts.

    1. Author

      See my editorial here: https://wp.me/p9jAAJ-17T

      Meanwhile, please provide a source to support your argument that conclusions can’t be drawn from cases per day and that the percentage of positive tests have any bearing in this. The number of cases in Craven County is equal to the number of cases that tested positive. What is not known is the number of tests given for the county. Craven County only tracks its own tests. The tests provided by other health venues are reported to other agencies, apparently. By the way, I am glad to see that you do not include Fox News as major media.

  5. Look at this page from NCDHHS: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard/testing, which gives you a brief hint as to why one must also look at percentage of tests that are positive. This originated with the Feds, as their recommendation. I had hoped to keep politics out of this because I have not understood why Republican or Democrat should have any bearing on reopening the State. Remember, lockdowns were justified to flatten the curve so that hospitals were not overwhelmed, but we are way beyond that. I do believe that Fox News is providing a more balanced view of the threats and consequences.

    1. Author

      I think I see what you are getting at … that the number of positives increases as the number of tests increase. That’s not to say that the number of cases would decrease if the testing decreased. Not testing does not cure the disease.

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