Craven County appears to be recovering from the effects of Thanksgiving Week COVID-19 exposure, and there is no sign yet of a widely expected Christmas Break spike.

However, the number of Craven County residents who are hospitalized for COVID-19 tied a record set Oct. 15, 2020, at 27. This is unsurprising, in that hospitalizations tend to be on the trailing side of a spike.

Alert status

Craven County has been added to the Red status, for Critical, in the North Carolina County Alert System.

Craven County’s 14-day case rate per 100,000 people was 993.7, and its 14-day percent positive COVID-19 testing rate was 11.9 percent.

Nearly two-thirds of North Carolina counties are now red. There are now 65 red counties, up from 48 in the previous report issued Dec. 8. There are 27 orange counties, and 8 yellow counties.

Here’s the previous map:

Holiday spike

Source data: Craven County Health Department

As shown above, the post-holiday spikes are fairly pronounced. As cases mount by 50 to 150 cases per day, it takes two to four weeks for people to get well from the virus and be counted as recovered, and for the daily new cases and total active cases to decline.

Generally speaking, the daily number of people recovering over the past week has well-exceeded the daily number of people who are testing positive. This is the first time we’ve had such a long lull in the COVID-19 outbreak since late November.

In terms of the number of people affected, the spike of secondary Thanksgiving infections was slightly shorter but more intense than the initial spike.

It is also that secondary spike that is driving record numbers of Craven County residents to the hospital.

The late December slope may form into a valley as new cases start emerging from the Christmas Break infections. If they appear, it will start later this week.


In North Carolina, 24,500 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Because the vaccine requires more than one dose, no one has completed the vaccine series.

In Craven County, 322 people have received the initial vaccine doses. They are almost entirely front-line medical professionals who come into contact with COVID-19 patients every day, all day.

The numbers

Craven County has 4,776 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020.

Of the newest cases, 90 were confirmed on Dec. 23, 2020, 39 on Dec. 24, 2020, 19 on Dec. 25, 2020, seven on Dec. 26, 2020, 15 on Dec. 27, 2020, and nine on Dec. 29, 2020.

Out of the 4,776 confirmed positive cases, 3,875 of those individuals have recovered or are presumed recovered based on guidelines set by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Craven County snapshot

Confirmed Active Recovered DeathsHospitalized 
Source: Craven County Health Department


Out-of-state travelCommunity transmissionDirect contactUnder investigationUnknown
UnchangedUp 101Up 115Down 115Unchanged
Changes Dec. 30-31, 2020

Other news

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper announced last week that he plans to extend the state’s evictions moratorium on residential evictions for non-payment of rent through at least Jan. 31, 2021. 

“This holiday season, too many families are struggling to pay rent as the pandemic surges,” said Governor Cooper. “As the first of the month approaches and rent becomes due, I wanted people to know that we plan to extend the moratorium on evictions.”

President Trump signed a COVID-19 relief package that provides extended unemployment benefits as well as $600 in stimulus payments to adults and minor children within a certain income threshold.

The House of Representatives passed a bill that would provide $2,000 per adult in stimulus money. That bill goes to the Senate for its say.

To notify people as quickly as possible if they have tested positive for or been exposed to someone with COVID-19, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) in cooperation with Local Health Departments, is expanding how it contacts people. Starting this week, all residents who have provided cell phone or email addresses will receive an automatic text or email message to connect people to follow-up resources and supports.

The change comes as the state is experiencing a significant increase in people with COVID-19. Less than a week ago, North Carolina set a new record of 8,444 new cases reported in a day.

People receiving a text or email will be directed to a secure website that provides additional information about how to protect themselves and their loved ones, how to get support if needed to safely isolate, and how to contact someone immediately for additional information.

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