RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — All of central North Carolina has moved into the CDC’s yellow zone with elevated community levels of COVID-19.
Every county in the CBS 17 viewing area — including Wake, Durham, Orange and Cumberland — was shaded yellow on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s color-coded map with medium levels of the virus in the communities.
That’s a big change from last week, when most counties in the central part of the state were green — signifying the lowest viral levels.
A total of 52 counties — or, more than half — were colored yellow. Just 38 counties were green.
The number of orange counties — those with the highest levels — doubled for the third consecutive week, with that total climbing to 10. Those counties are clustered either along the state’s southern coast or in the northwest corner near the Virginia border.
There were no orange counties when December began.
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 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 has 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.
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.