RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina has half as many counties in the CDC’s orange zone with the highest community levels of COVID-19 as it did just two weeks ago.

A total of 31 counties were orange on the newest color-coded Centers for Disease Control and Prevention community levels map. There were 62 in the orange zone on Aug. 18.

That total dropped to 44 last week in the latest evidence that the latest surge driven by the BA.5 subvariant is beginning to fade.

(Credit: CDC)

For a change, yellow counties made up the largest share of counties, with 45 — or nearly half of the state’s 100 — having medium community levels of the virus. There were 35 of them last week.

And central North Carolina is home to three of the state’s 24 green counties with the lowest level of COVID in the community.

That includes Wake, Johnston and Wilson counties — which had been colored yellow for weeks, even as most of their neighboring counties shifted to orange.

Among the counties still orange: Orange, Durham, Wayne, Vance and Person counties.

The CDC advises people in orange counties to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, including in K-12 schools and other community settings.

A county falls into the orange, highest-level zone if it has more than 200 new cases per week for every 100,000 people who live there, and has either more than 10 COVID-19 hospital admissions that week for every 100,000 people, or if 10 percent or more of the people in hospitals have COVID-19.