COVID-19 numbers released Friday by the Craven County Department of Health show that the secondary-Thanksgiving spike is worsening at a higher rate than the primary Thanksgiving spike that started two weeks ago.

Cases increased to 4,244 by 11:30 p.m. Thursday in Craven County, 109 more cases in the past 24 hours and the second highest 1-day increase, just behind yesterday’s record breaker.

There were no new deaths, and hospitalizations only increased a bit.

However, according to New York Times tracking, CarolinaEast Medical Center’s ICU is at 80 percent capacity, with 31 patients and only 5 remaining available beds.

That compares to an average 82 percent throughout North Carolina and 78 percent nationally. (Link)

Also, a record was set: the number of active cases, which rose above 800 for the first time–809 active cases, to be exact.

Many of those active cases work for Craven County Schools, which has so many staff under quarantine now, the school district is having difficulty holding classes. With each single infection comes a varying number of staff who have to isolate while they wait to find out if they were in turn infected.

Note in the graph above that the secondary Thanksgiving spike is trending higher than the Thanksgiving spike. And the secondary Thanksgiving spike is about to transition into the Christmas Holidays spike–one week of relaxed social distancing compared to two weeks. It is reasonable to expect that they will dwarf Thanksgiving’s numbers.

Faced with that prospect, Craven Schools officials have called for a special meeting to discuss how to handle this increasingly difficult challenge. The School Board is holding a special called meeting the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day (link).

For the moment, the school district is planning to have two in-person days per week for high schoolers, up from one in-person day for the semester that ended Friday.

Out of the 4,244 confirmed positive cases, 3,358 of those individuals have recovered or are presumed recovered based on guidelines set by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Here’s how people are catching the virus in Craven County.


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

Note the “unknown” number–up 134 cases in 24 hours. Contact tracers were unable to figure out how those individuals caught the virus. That could happen for several reasons: sometimes people don’t cooperate with contact tracers; sometimes people can’t be found; and sometimes people don’t know how they caught it.

Of those, a good number are actually community transmission cases. It is very likely that as far as community spread, we are over 1,000 cases–right around 1 percent of the county’s population.

Craven County daily snapshot

New CasesActive casesRecoveredDeathsHospitalized
Source: Craven County Health Department


  1. Do you think the increase may have something to do with the free testing sites this week?

  2. Our percent positive rate is also over 10%.

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