North Carolina experienced its highest one-day number of new COVID-19 cases with 3,119 cases reported. Other key metrics also increased with hospitalizations at 1,246 and the percent of tests that were positive climbing to 7.9 percent.
Craven County saw 21 new cases during that timespan, which is not unusually high for a one-day period at this stage of the pandemic, although it did reach a new milestone, having surpassed 2,500 total cases since mid-March.
“High case counts, including our highest day ever today, and other key metrics are why North Carolina is staying paused in Phase 3 while we lower the indoor gathering limit to 10,” Gov. Roy Cooper said on his Facebook page today. “Wearing a mask, social distancing and being smart about this pandemic are more important than ever.”
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“This is not the milestone we want to be hitting, particularly as we head into holidays where people want to come together,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “I am asking North Carolinians to do what they do best, look out for each other. Wear a mask. Wait six feet apart. Wash your hands often. We’ve had more time to learn about this devastating virus and study after study shows that these three simple actions can help keep our family, friends and neighbors from getting sick.”
COVID-19 is highly contagious, and more than half of North Carolinians are at high risk for serious illness. Studies are also finding that some people, including those who had mild illness, experience symptoms for weeks or months following infection.
On Tuesday, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina’s indoor mass gathering limit will be lowered to 10 people in an effort to drive down COVID-19 metrics. Executive Order 176Open PDF will go into effect on Friday, November 13 and will be in place through Friday, December 4.
State health officials advise people to avoid travel over Thanksgiving and only gather with people in your household. For those that do plan to travel or get together with others, NCDHHS has issued guidance outlining steps to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, including getting tested three to four days ahead of time. A test can help someone know if they have COVID-19 even if they do not yet have symptoms. However, a test can miss some infections. Furthermore, a negative test only gives you information for that point in time. Community testing events and other testing sites are listed online at ncdhhs.gov/testingplace.
People who have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been around a person with COVID-19, should not host or participate in any in-person gatherings until they complete their isolation or quarantine period.
For a full list of guidance about traveling and gathering during the holidays, along with a chart outlining low, medium and high-risk activities, see the NCDHHS Interim Guidance for Thanksgiving HolidayOpen PDF.