COVID metrics improving, state says spread worse

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The Wednesday update to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 dashboard shows several improved metrics in Person County.
Since last Thursday, 19 cases have been reported, down from 38 reported last week.
The new cases take the county’s total to 3,234 since March 2020.
Between March 4-24, the weekly number of new cases decreased for three straight weeks before an increase was reported March 31.
There have been no COVID-19-related deaths reported in the last four weeks.
The county’s two-week average percent of positive tests fell slightly this week from 5.2 percent to 5 percent.
In the past week, 274 county residents have been at least partially vaccinated and another 822 have completed their vaccine series.
In total, 10,787 residents are at least partially vaccinated representing 27.3 percent of the county and 7,140 residents are fully vaccinated representing 18.1 percent of the county.
County spread worse in NCDHHS report
In the most recent COVID-19 County Alert System report from the NCDHHS, Person County moved up from significant community spread to substantial community spread, based on metrics between March 14-27.
Those metrics show a 6.3 percent 14-day percent of positive tests, 245.6 cases per 100,000 residents and a moderate hospital impact.
Person County moved into the lowest spread classification in the March 18 map update after six straight updates in the critical spread classification, the state’s worst.
Statewide, there are 21 counties with substantial spread.
The update also introduced two new categories indicating moderate and low community spread.
The report notes that this is the first update with no counties in the worst spread classification, though there has been an increase in substantial spread, now 21 from 17 March 18.
NCDHHS Secretary updates metrics
In a Tuesday press briefing, NCHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen provided an update on the state’s COVID-19 metrics.
Cohen said the state’s trend of COVID-like illnesses is getting close to baseline, but have leveled since February.
The trend of cases has plateaued, Cohen said, with efforts needed to guard against active COVID-19 variants.
Percent of positive tests has leveled around the state’s goal of 5 percent.
Cohen said that hospitalizations have also leveled.
During the briefing, Gov. Roy Cooper said the state has been consulting with health experts and business leaders to plan the state’s future reopening steps and expects to have a forecast for the summer to tell what to expect by July 4.

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