Dr. Cohen says COVID-19 trends in North Carolina are stabilizing, metrics show mask mandate is working

RALEIGH, N.C. — Here are the latest updates about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in North Carolina.

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7 p.m.
Wake County health officials are reporting 122 more COVID-19 cases since Monday, bringing the total to 10,377. There have been 115 deaths county-wide.

4 p.m.
Gov. Roy Cooper announced a new Executive Order that will halt all alcohol sales after 11 p.m. statewide.

The curfew, according to the governor, is especially critical to reducing late-night crowds and limiting mass gatherings, even at restaurants which by previous orders cannot exceed 50 percent capacity.


“Slowing the spread of this virus requires targeted strategies that help lower the risk of transmission,” Cooper said. “This will be particularly important as colleges and universities are scheduled to start, bringing people all over the country to our state. We have seen case numbers increase among younger people, and prevention is critical to slowing the spread of the virus.”

The order will not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores or other entities permitted to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption. Local governments that have implemented orders that end alcohol sales before 11 pm or that apply to other entities remain in effect.

Cooper also announced an initiative to help residents with rent payments and utility bills using funding from the CARES Act..

NC DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen gave an update on North Carolina’s data trends. She explained that though North Carolina’s numbers appear to be stabilizing, officials need more time to watch the data.

She said that the leveling of trends — including COVID-like syndromic cases and the number of confirmed cases — shows “what is possible when we all work together.”

However, the number of hospitalizations continues to climb and the percent of positive cases — around 8 percent — is still above the goal of 5 percent.

Cohen said that the downward trend in some of the metrics is proof that the mask mandate is having a positive effect. She said data shows that the trends began leveling one to two weeks after the mandate went into effect on June 26.

12:10 p.m.
The number of people in North Carolina hospitalized with COVID-19 increased by 75 from Monday to Tuesday, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

The numbers show 1,244 people hospitalized–more than any other day since the virus arrived in the state in March.

Another 1,749 people tested positive for the virus. The state reports 7% of the tests came back positive on July 27. That continues the slight decrease in percent positives that the state has seen in the past two weeks.

Another 30 people tragically died from COVID-19, increasing the virus’ death toll in North Carolina to 1,820.

11 a.m.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association is moving to Phase 2 of restarting prep sports on Aug. 3. For general activities, Phase 2 allows for small group workouts and practices while maintaining physical distancing with limited sharing of equipment. Workouts and conditioning are still limited to 90-minute sessions.

SEE ALSO | High school senior athletes say cancelled or delayed sports could jeopardize scholarships, offers

All student-athletes and coaches still must be screened daily for COVID-19 symptoms.


Wake County has surpassed 10,000 cases of the coronavirus. The county averages 68 new cases a day with the average age of the person infected is 39. The state’s latest numbers will come out Tuesday around noon.

Gov. Roy Cooper and the state’s Coronavirus Task Force will give an update on the state’s response to the virus Tuesday at 4 p.m. ABC11 will carry the media briefing on-air and online at ABC11.com.

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to tour Thales Academy in Apex on Wednesday. School officials said Pence will visit Thales Academy (K-5) to see how school choice works and to advocate for its further implementation.

Free COVID-19 testing will be available Tuesday in Pikeville at Charles B. Aycock High School from 9 a.m. to noon. Pre-registration is strongly recommended.

8:20 p.m.
Franklin County Schools voted Monday to reopen fully remote under Plan C.

The Halifax County Board of Education also approved Superintendent Dr. Eric L. Cunningham’s recommendation to continue with remote learning for the first nine weeks of school.

6 p.m.
Wake County health officials are reporting 10,240 COVID-19 cases, up 143 since Sunday. There have been 113 deaths county-wide since March.

Durham County health officials are reporting 5,566, up 54 from Sunday. There have been 76 deaths county-wide.
5:15 p.m.
92,302 COVID-19 patients are presumed to be recovered in North Carolina.

The estimated median recovery time is 28 days from the date of specimen collection for hospitalized non-fatal COVID-19 cases.

5 p.m.
Halifax County health officials are reporting 28 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 573. There have been six deaths county-wide.

4:40 p.m.
Wake County health officials have confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 at Holly Hill Hospital, located at South Campus, 201 Michael J. Smith Lane, in Raleigh.

4:30 p.m.
Lee County health officials are reporting 96 new COVID-19 cases this week, bringing the total to 1,078. There have been nine virus-related deaths in the county since March.

4 p.m.
President Trump headed to the Bioprocess Innovation Center where he was joined by North Carolina Representative Mark Walker, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, State Representative Tim Moore, State Senator Phil Berger and Senator Thom Tillis.

“We’re here, actually, today to discuss the exciting progress that we’ve achieved under the Operation Warp Speed, our historic initiative to develop tests, manufacture and deliver a vaccine in record time,” Trump said during a news briefing when he arrived at FUJIFILM. “And that’s what it is, in record time.”

Employees at FUJIFILM are working on key elements of a potential vaccine, from the drug maker Novavax. Novavax was awarded $1.6 billion under Operation Warp Speed–the U.S. government’s program to mass-produce an effective treatment.

LATEST: President Trump tours Morrisville FUJIFILM facility working on COVID-19 vaccine


3 p.m.
President Trump landed at RDU Monday afternoon before heading to a Morrisville FUJIFILM facility working on a COVID-19 vaccine.

12:14 p.m.
The Sampson County Health Department is reporting 27 new cases, which bring the total to 1,478 positive cases of COVID-19. One new death was reported, bringing the total deaths to 12.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on Monday reported 1,625 new COVID-19 cases in the state. 22,091 tests were reported as completed.

The state’s percent positive rate is around 8 percent.

The breakdown of COVID-19 hospitalizations across North Carolina

1,169 people are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 complications. One week ago, 1,213 people were hospitalized.

Five more people have died from the novel coronavirus, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 1,790.

44 percent of the cases in the state are in the 25-49 age group. 30 percent of cases are in people over the age of 50.

On Monday, Wake County surpassed 10,000 cases since the start of the pandemic.


President Donald Trump is expected to visit FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ Innovation Center in Morrisville on Monday afternoon. Trump’s visit is his public event in North Carolina since the eve of the March 3 presidential primary.

Another chance for students to enroll in Wake County’s Virtual Academy starts Monday. Parents can enroll their kids in a virtual academy from Monday until Wednesday. Students in Hoke County can register for Virtual Academy until 6 p.m. on Monday. Franklin County Schools will have an emergency meeting at 5:30 p.m. Halifax County Schools’ leadership is expected to recommend students learn remotely for the first nine weeks.

Copyright © 2020 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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