North Carolina records 1st case of community spread COVID-19

Coronavirus

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper said North Carolina has its first case of community-spread COVID-19.

That means the patient had not traveled or had contact with a known positive case.

“This is an expected but unfortunate benchmark in this pandemic,” said Cooper.

The community spread case is in Wilson County.

Cooper said the expected community spread cases are why the state took early aggressive action to curb the spread of the virus.

“We will get through this,” the governor said.

Because there’s now confirmation of community spread, Cooper said this will likely impact the reopening of schools across the state.

“We are likely to be out of school for a longer period of time,” he said.

Cooper thanked the many hospitals across North Carolina who have canceled elective surgeries.

“We are exploring if we need to make this a mandatory directive,” Cooper said.

On Wednesday, Duke Health, UNC Health and WakeMed said they were prioritizing and rescheduling some non-critical surgeries and procedures.

The state has seen a dramatic spike in applications for unemployment insurance in North Carolina, according to Cooper. This can be attributed to restaurants being closed.

The Associated Press reported that applications for unemployment benefits rose by 70,000 last week across the country.

“We know it will get worse before it gets better,” Cooper said. “Know we are doing all we can to help all of us to deal with this crisis.”

The governor urged North Carolinians to continue practicing social distancing.

CBS 17 is reporting the state has at least 103 cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday morning. You can see a list of those cases here.

Late Wednesday, Wake County officials said 70 people are under investigation who were exposed to the virus and have shown symptoms.

Additionally, 221 others were identified through contact tracing who could be at risk for contracting the virus. Officials say those individuals are being monitored.

Moore County, after announcing its first case on Wednesday, said it had a second resident test positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. Cumberland County announced its first two cases on Thursday, as well.

State health officials said 2,505 tests have been completed as of Thursday morning.

North Carolina health officials say the increase in cases can be partially attributed to testing being more widely available.

The number of cases has varied daily as NCDHHS only reports updated numbers once a day. However, county health departments and other entities will report cases as the day progresses.

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