Since the pandemic first turned our lives upside-down in March, it’s been a roller-coaster of a ride. Adjusting to this new norm is challenging for individuals and businesses alike. The picture is constantly changing, with glimpses of hope swiftly countered by horrific realities. A sense of “crisis fatigue” has numbed many to the ongoing threat posed by COVID-19.

Ultimately, it comes down to the numbers. So where do we currently stand in North Carolina?

The numbers in North Carolina

Overall, cases in North Carolina are trending upward, though we haven’t seen the spike that other states are grappling with. As reported by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the total number of confirmed cases sits just above 100,000. The total number of deaths sits just above 1,500. Hospitalizations continue to rise, with nearly 1,200 COVID patients in hospitals across the state.

By age group

Despite the narrative that COVID primarily hits baby boomers, the numbers tell a different story. According to the North Carolina demographic data:

  • 70% of cases are among those aged 49 and younger
  • 45% are in the 25-49 age range

Deaths from COVID do follow an age-based trend, however, with 94% in the 50+ age bracket.

Counties hit hardest

Those with the highest rates of infection include:

  • Duplin County: 304 cases per 10,000 residents
  • Sampson County: 209 per 10,000
  • Tyrrell County: 189 per 10,000
  • Granville County: 173 per 10,000
  • Wayne County: 172 per 10,000
  • Montgomery County: 168 per 10,000
  • Lee County: 164 per 10,000
  • Durham County: 163 per 10,000
  • Mecklenburg County: 163 per 10,000
  • Chatham County: 163 per 10,000
  • Robeson County: 151 per 10,000

Phased reopening

For now, North Carolina remains in phase two of a three-phase reopening plan. Dubbed “Safer at Home,” this phase allows most businesses to reopen at partial capacity, with restrictions. Gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors. Larger venues such as gyms, theaters, bowling alleys, playgrounds and visitation at long-term care centers remain closed. Phase two will stay in place until August 7th, though it may get extended further.

What about schools?

Governor Cooper recently announced that schools will reopen next month. Districts can opt to hold classes remotely or implement a hybrid approach, allowing students to attend in-person on a rotating, part-time schedule. Schools must follow precautions such as distancing and sanitization for in-person attendance.

Stay tuned

As we have seen over the past few months, things can change on a dime. Check back for more updates on this rapidly evolving situation.

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