NC coronavirus live updates: 20,000 COVID-19 cases Wednesday
We keep track of the most recent information on the coronavirus and vaccines in North Carolina. Check back for updates.
Over 20,000 new cases reported
At least 1,763,614 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 19,542 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials.
On Wednesday, January 5, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 20,770 new cases of COVID-19, up from 10,276 the day before.
48 other coronavirus-related deaths were reported on January 5. Health officials do not specify the dates on which the newly reported deaths occurred.
At least 3,099 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on January 5, up from 2,984 the day before, health officials said.
As of January 3, the last date for which the information available was available, 31.8% of coronavirus tests were declared positive. Health officials say 5% or less is the target rate for slowing the spread of the virus.
About 74% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and about 70% have been fully immunized. Of the state’s total population, about 59% are fully immunized and 63% have received at least one dose. State officials round vaccination numbers to the nearest whole number.
More than 2.5 million “extra / booster” doses have been administered in North Carolina as of Jan. 5, the Department of Health said. Health officials have urged those who are eligible to be beefed up, as data suggests it offers increased protection against the omicron coronavirus variant.
StarMed closes testing site where worker was threatened
StarMed closed its COVID-19 testing site on South Boulevard near Arrowood Road after a man threatened a worker with two dogs and a shotgun on Wednesday, January 5.
No one was injured, the Charlotte Observer reported, but National Guard members from the StarMed location west of Charlotte were transferred to South Boulevard after the incident. Operations at the test site returned to normal for a few hours before StarMed closed the line just before 1:30 p.m.
StarMed CEO Mike Estramonte said he believed the incident was due to frustrations over the long test lines.
Why it’s harder for schools to switch to distance education
State law prevents school districts in North Carolina from switching to distance education even as new cases of COVID-19 reach record levels.
Under Senate Bill 654, which passed in August, schools and individual classes can only switch if the number of exhibits results in understaffing or too many quarantined students, reported The News & Observer. Even so, in-person learning should resume as soon as there are enough staff or the students have completed the quarantine.
Schools that switch to distance education must notify the Ministry of Education within 72 hours. The DPI told the N&O that no school had reported such a change.
DPI spokesperson Blair Rhoades said school districts always have the option to walk away altogether. But Rick Su, a UNC Law School professor, said the law set a higher bar for them.
âIt severely hinders removal unless these specific conditions are met,â Su said in an interview. “A general concern about the increase in the number of cases is not part of these conditions.”
What to do if you test positive for COVID
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new guidelines for people infected or exposed to COVID-19.
Anyone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19 is being asked to self-isolate for five days under the new rules, The News & Observer reported. Day zero is considered either the first day you show symptoms or the day you tested positive.
The isolation period will begin again for people who test positive and asymptomatic, but who later develop symptoms. âDay zeroâ then becomes the first day you have symptoms and âday oneâ is the first full day after symptoms appear.
People exposed to someone who tests positive for the coronavirus will need to be quarantined if they are over 18 and have not received a booster or are completely unvaccinated.
Housing costs in the triangle continue to rise during the pandemic
Prices and rents for homes in the Triangle were up before the coronavirus pandemic and continue to rise.
The median selling price in local counties was $ 369,000 in November. That’s up from $ 279,900 in November 2019 and $ 269,900 the year before, according to data.
Rents have also gone up, including for Cary resident Marcia Cloud, who said the pandemic had caused her to make less money at work. Also in Cary, Erika White said she spent more than half of her income on rent.
âThere really aren’t a lot of options here,â White said, according to The News & Observer.
Report suggests drop in inmate numbers in Mecklenburg prison
A North Carolina state inspection at Mecklenburg County Jail found “significant safety concerns over staff shortages,” including those related to coronavirus outbreaks that have made dozens of workers sick.
The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office said it is working to reduce its number of detainees and plans to address the topics mentioned in the state report, such as transfers and early releases. While some Charlotte area prisons have room for additional people, many have limited staff.
The inspection found that the prison could not safely conduct an emergency evacuation or control a violent incident quickly enough, The Charlotte Observer reported on January 3.
âOur staff have worked during the COVID-19 pandemic since the start of 2020,â Sheriff Garry McFadden said in a press release. âThey are tired, dealing with losses from the virus, or struggling with the virus themselves while performing their duties at MCSO. We have to take all of these factors into account, but we will not stop our efforts to make our detention center function properly. “