RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Nearly a quarter of North Carolina’s counties once again have the highest community level of COVID-19, according to the latest federal map.

The map updated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday night showed 23 counties shaded orange — a drop of one from last week.

Another 42 counties in North Carolina were colored yellow, for medium levels of COVID-19, meaning a total of 65 counties — almost two-thirds — are at one of the two top levels.

Last week, 66 counties were either orange or yellow.

Durham County remained orange for the fourth consecutive week. The same five central North Carolina counties that were at the highest level last week — Granville, Person, Vance and Warren — remained there.

The CDC recommends everyone in the orange counties wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, including K-12 schools and other community settings.

A county moves into the orange, high-level zone if it has more than 200 new cases per week for every 100,000 people who live there, and have either more than ten 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.

Most of the counties had per capita rates of more than 200 new cases and more than 10 hospital admissions. While Alleghany County had fewer than 200 new cases per capita, it moved into the orange zone because its rate of hospital admissions exceeded 27 for every 100,000 people living there.

About 10 percent of counties in the U.S. are shaded orange for the second week in a row.


CBS 17’s Joedy McCreary has been tracking COVID-19 figures since March 2020, compiling data from federal, state, and local sources to deliver a clear snapshot of what the coronavirus situation looks like now and what it could look like in the future.