New COVID-19 Cases In NC Just Spiked. Here’s How Much.

Social distancing during coronavirus in North Carolina

Gov. Roy Cooper talks about NC's COVID-19 relief bills in this May 4 photo.

By Billy Ball

May 18, 2020

Cases soared in the last five days, but so did testing in North Carolina.

Coronavirus cases in North Carolina are surging, just as Gov. Roy Cooper considers a plan for easing social distancing restrictions.

New figures published by the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) show that laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases spiked since last week, although it comes as the state also ramped up testing. 

Source: NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
Source: NC DHHS

As of Monday morning, state officials reported 19,023 confirmed coronavirus cases, as well as 661 deaths due to the contagious virus. The number of confirmed cases surged by almost 1,900 over the weekend, yet officials are likely to note that the state’s positive tests as a percentage of total tests continues to level off at around 7%. 

Source: NC DHHS

The governor’s administration has been under pressure from some to lift social distancing orders. Cooper ordered the state move to Phase 1 of reopening May 8, and was expected to mull Phase 2 by Friday, before the number of cases rose. Meanwhile, public health experts have warned NC may be reopening too soon.

Cooper’s administration has emphasized multiple times that they will examine multiple metrics, including hospitalizations, hospital capacity, testing and tracing, and individuals reporting COVID-like symptoms.

Social distancing

Cooper is expected to give an update on the virus this afternoon. Look for coverage from Cardinal & Pine

Author

  • Billy Ball

    Billy Ball is Cardinal & Pine's senior community editor. He’s covered local, state and national politics, government, education, criminal justice, the environment and immigration in North Carolina for almost two decades, winning state, regional and national awards for his reporting and commentary.

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