RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The number of COVID-19 outbreaks at North Carolina nursing homes has hit its highest peak in 2 1/2 months.

A weekly report released Tuesday by the state Department of Health and Human Services showed 254 outbreaks at nursing homes — the most since March 22, when there were 261.

It was an increase of seven from last week.

The running total has climbed for three consecutive weeks after NCDHHS changed the requirements for nursing homes to come off the list. 

It shortened by two weeks the amount of time that must pass for a home to report no new cases before it can drop off. Now, an outbreak is considered over if a facility goes 14 days without any new cases.

The numbers of outbreaks at residential care and correctional facilities also hit their peaks since March 22.

There were 134 residential care facilities on the list, an increase of three from last week, and 20 correctional facilities listed, up two from a week ago.

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.