RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina is down to just four counties in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s orange zone with the highest level of COVID-19 in the community.
The map updated Thursday night by the CDC showed 70 of the state’s 100 counties shaded green with the lowest community level of COVID-19.
It marks a dramatic shift.
Just two weeks ago, there were 23 counties in the orange zone compared to 35 that were green. The number of orange counties dipped to 11 last week.
Among the four orange counties, three are in central North Carolina — including Durham County, which was orange for the sixth consecutive week. It was joined by Granville, Northampton and Washington counties.
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 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.
Finally, that case rate is below 200 in 92 counties. The only one with a rate higher than 300 is Mitchell County — where fewer than two percent of hospitalized people have COVID-19 and none were admitted in the past week.
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.