RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – After a delay of about six hours, North Carolina health officials reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases on Friday.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,716 new cases, which surpassed the 2,684 reported a week prior. The three highest single-day totals have come within the past week.
Friday also marked the sixth time in the last nine days the state reported more than 2,000 new cases.
The percentage of positive tests increased to 7.3 percent. With the numbers revised, Friday was the fourth day in a row in which that metric was above 7 percent. That percentage is too high for safe reopening, according to World Health Organization standards, which targets 14 consecutive days at 5 percent or lower.
Hospitalizations decreased slightly to 1,181. It is the first time since Monday that fewer than 1,200 people were hospitalized because of COVID-19, data showed. However, it is the 17th straight day with at least 1,000 hospitalized.
The NCDHHS reported 32 deaths Friday, which is actually the smallest number since Monday and breaks a streak of three days in which there were 40 or more deaths reported. The total is now 4,114.
Sharp increases in key metrics concerning the pandemic lined up with Gov. Roy Cooper’s decision on Wednesday to extend Phase 3 of reopening North Carolina.
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