At least 636 cases of COVID-19 reported in North Carolina

Coronavirus (Photo: MGN Online)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY/WNCN) — North Carolina health officials now say there are 636 known cases of coronavirus across the state.

The number of known cases stood at 504 on Wednesday.

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The state announced its first coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday. A person in their late 70s from Cabarrus County died on March 24 from complications associated with the virus. That patient had several underlying medical conditions.

The second death was a person in their 60s from Virginia who was traveling through North Carolina.

No additional deaths were announced by the state Thursday morning.

The number of known cases has steadily moved up since North Carolina announced its first case on March 3.

Mecklenburg County has 181 cases while Wake County has 83, according to NCCDHHS. Durham County has 75.

New Hanover County has reported 14 cases and Brunswick County now has 11.

The increase in cases can be connected to the expansion of testing – which occurs at the NC State Laboratory of Public Health as well as hospitals and commercial labs.

The state said a total of 12,910 tests have been completed – 2,000 additional tests as compared to Thursday.

Number of COVID-19 tests completed in North Carolina

  • March 18: 1,850
  • March 19: 2,505
  • March 20: 3,233
  • March 21: 5,276
  • March 22: 6,438
  • March 23: 8,438
  • March 24: 8,502
  • March 25: 10,489
  • March 26: 12,910

Wake County will join Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, and Orange counties along with the City of Durham by issuing a “stay-at-home” order on Thursday.

Wake County has a 1 p.m. press conference scheduled to reveal the details of its order.

Gov. Roy Cooper, who does not have a press conference scheduled for Thursday yet, said he will issue new guidance for the state soon.

Dr. Betsy Tilson with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services issued new guidance in terms of what the public should do if they are experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms.

“Stay at home,” Tilson said.

She asked for anyone with mild symptoms to stay at home and call their doctor so testing and medical supplies go to those who are high risk.

“I’ve talked to doctors across the state and they have been heroic in standing up a variety of strategies to increase access to safe care for their patients,” Tilson said. “Just as they do every day of the year, doctors are guided first and foremost by what is best for their patients’ well-being.”

According to the CDC, those at higher include people who:

  • Are 65 years and older.
  • Live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
  • Have a high-risk condition, including chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, heart disease with complications, compromised immune system, severe obesity with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher or other underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease.

People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk for severe viral illness.

However, to date, data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk for severe illness due to pregnancy. While children are generally at lower risk for severe infection, some studies indicate a higher risk among infants.

Johns Hopkins University said there have been 1,046 coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S.

As of Thursday morning, the University said there are 69,197 cases across America.

New York accounts for the majority of those cases. The University said New York has more than 33,000 known cases and at least 280 deaths.

COVID-19 timeline

  • March 3: NCDHHS announces state’s first COVID-19 case
  • March 10: Gov. Roy Cooper declares State of Emergency
  • March 11: World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic
  • March 13: President Donald Trump declares a National Emergency
  • March 14: Cooper issues Executive Order 117 closing K-12 public schools until at least March 30 and banning gatherings of more than 100 people
  • March 16: NCDHHS recommends no mass gatherings for more than 50 people
  • March 17: Cooper issues Executive Order 118 limiting operations of restaurants and bars, and broadening unemployment insurance benefits
  • March 23: Cooper issues Executive Order 120 which closes public K-12 schools through May 15 and orders businesses such as barbershops and salons to close.
  • March 25: North Carolina reports its first coronavirus-related deaths


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