2,585 reported COVID-19 cases in North Carolina marks new single-day record high; 8.4% positive test rate reported

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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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SATURDAY

3:30 p.m.
NCDHHS said the total new confirmed COVID-19 cases Saturday reflected an increase caused by 1,000 positive tests from dates in the first half of August that were reported to the state by LabCorp in the past 24 hours.

The department is working with LabCorp to understand the cause of the delayed reporting; however, LabCorp confirmed that individuals were not delayed in receiving their results.

1:40 p.m.
Due to recent COVID-19 clusters at NC State, Wake County will open a second drive-thru testing site in the parking lot of the McKimmon Conference and Training Center. Although it will be located on campus, the site will be open to anyone who needs a free COVID-19 test.

“As we continue to see the number of positive COVID-19 cases rise at local universities, it’s more important than ever to provide a safe, convenient way for people to get tested,” said Wake County Medical Director Dr. Kim McDonald. “We continue to encourage testing for persons in at-risk groups. Among our college students, this includes those who attended gatherings where social distance was not possible or masks were not worn.”

This new drive-thru testing site will run from Monday, Aug. 31 to Sunday, Sept. 6. The McKimmon Center is located at 1101 Gorman Street in Raleigh.

1 p.m.
North Carolina is reporting its highest single-day increase of COVID-19 to date.

An increase of 2,585 new cases brings the state total to 165,076. This is the highest single-day increase in cases to date. Previously 2,481 cases were recorded on July 18.

NCDHHS reported 18,647 more tests being completed. To date, 2,218,149 tests have been completed.

There have been 31 more deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 2,683.

With 90 percent of hospitals reporting, 965 patients are being hospitalized. That’s down five from Friday.

North Carolina is currently reporting a 8.4 positive percent test rate. That’s an increase from 6.5 percent Friday. Dr. Mandy Cohen said she wants to see North Carolina around 5 percent.

7:30 a.m.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there have been 5,918,381 cases of COVID-19 in the United States.

FRIDAY

6:16 p.m.
W.G. Pearson Elementary School building will be closed for two days after a probably positive case of COVID-19 in an employee working at the DPS Learning Center. The school will reopen on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

Durham County health officials along with the public school system are working out to identify anybody who had close contact with these employees.

5:05 p.m.
Wake County is reporting 103 more COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 14,599 and 199 deaths.

4:33 p.m.
NC State has identified two new clusters of COVID-19 cases on Friday afternoon: one at a residence hall, the other at an off-campus apartment complex.

Campus officials say the first cluster was identified at Sullivan Residence Hall, located on main campus, currently with seven positive cases. The second cluster located off-campus in the Signature 1505 Apartment Complex, along Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. Officials identified five cases among NC State students at this location.

A “cluster” is defined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as a minimum of five cases with illness onset or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiological link between cases.

12 p.m.
A day after the highest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases this month, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on Friday reported just 1,415 new cases — a number that falls below the 7-day rolling average for the state.

23,622 tests were reported as completed, making the percent positive in the state 6.9 percent. Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen has said she wants this number to be closer to 5 percent or under.

The state is currently seeing an average testing turnaround time of 2.1 days.

42 percent of the cases in the state are in people age 25 to 49. 15 percent are in people age 18 to 24. 19 percent are in people age 50 to 64.

In Orange County, where UNC has seen a number of COVID-19 clusters, 44 percent of the cases are in people age 18 to 24.

22 more deaths were reported on Friday, bringing the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 2,652.

970 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state, up 12 since Thursday.

10:30 a.m.
UNC announced on Friday that it will start its fall sport seasons without fans at home events. That includes Football, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Men’s and Women’s Soccer and Volleyball. The attendance restriction will last through September. The school said it “will continue to work with medical experts and the University to evaluate safety conditions” with the hope that it can increase capacity in October.

Tailgating also will not be allowed on campus.

10 a.m.
Mecklenburg County Public Health says that 2 attendees and 2 event support persons have tested positive for COVID-19 at the RNC in Charlotte. Officials say they were immediately isolated and close contacts were notified.

792 COVID-19 tests were conducted among individuals attending or providing support to the RNC in the city.

FRIDAY MORNING STORYLINES

After welcoming students back on Monday, North Carolina Central University has identified a cluster of COVID-19 cases on campus. The cluster was found in Baynes Residence Hall and affected several of the school’s football players.

In an Eagle Alert sent to students, NCCU revealed all students who tested positive were isolated. The state defines a cluster as a minimum of five cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period. NCCU said they are ramping up their precautions, requiring everyone to wear masks, mandating temperature checks and placing hand sanitizing stations around campus.

NCCU said it will continue to test all students who live in residence halls.

THURSDAY
7:10 p.m.

The Johnston County Board of Education voted to continue operating schools under Plan C — all remote learning — for the remainder of the first quarter, which ends on Oct. 15.

Pre-K, K through 5th, and Self-Contained Exceptional Children students will not return for face-to-face instruction on Sept. 8, as previously planned. Johnston County Career & Technical Leadership Academy students will remain on their current schedule. All other students will continue with virtual learning for the duration of the first quarter.
7 p.m.
The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill announced on Thursday that it is “instituting academic grading accommodations for undergraduate students for the Fall 2020 semester.”

Because of the transition to fully remote learning, effective immediately, the university will make the pass/fail option available for undergraduate courses in the following colleges: the College of Arts & Sciences, Kenan-Flagler Business School, School of Information and Library Science, Hussman School of Journalism and Media, School of Education and the Gillings School of Global Public Health.

As an alternative to earning a letter grade, undergraduate students will have the option to declare any undergraduate course pass/fail.

There is no limit on the number of courses that a student can declare pass/fail in Fall 2020. Any courses declared pass/fail in Fall 2020 will not count toward any graduation limits on pass/fail courses.

Courses declared pass/fail in Fall 2020 will receive one of three grades: Pass, Low Pass, or Fail. Grades of C or higher will be converted to a Pass. Grades of C-, D+ or D will be converted to a Low Pass. Grades of F will remain a Fail. Courses that receive a Low Pass cannot be used for graduation requirements or prerequisites that require a grade of C or higher.

6:30 p.m.
Two more Cardinal Gibbons students have tested positive for COVID-19, according to letter from the school.

School leaders said both students contracted the virus off campus and had last been at the school on August 20 and 21 respectively. Through contact tracing, leaders said both cases were connected to previous cases announced earlier this week.

The letter said parents will get a notification if their student shared a class with any of the students who have tested positive thus far.

6 p.m.
UNC-Chapel Hill reported a new COVID-19 cluster at the Cobb residence hall. This is the ninth reported virus cluster at a residence hall.
Earlier in the day, the town of Chapel Hill asked all UNC students who live in a location where a cluster has been identified to quarantine for 14 days before returning home, whether or not they have tested positive for the virus.

5:30 p.m.
NC State University reported five new COVID-19 clusters, including two in residence halls and three in Greek houses.

According to a news release from the university, both the Tucker and Wood residence halls have 8 cases each.

The Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority has five cases, the Theta Chi fraternity has five cases and the Beta Theta Pi fraternity has 13 cases.

Students were ordered to leave on-campus housing by appointment starting today.

4:30 p.m.
NC State University is providing a two-day class break for students on Monday and Tuesday to allow on-campus students time to prepare to move following Wednesday’s announcement about reducing campus housing. University offices will remain open.

As required by UNC System policy to meet class hour requirements, the following changes are being made to the fall 2020 academic calendar to accommodate this break:

  • Classes for Monday and Tuesday will be made up Nov. 16-17.
  • The first day of exams will be delayed until Nov. 18.
  • Exams will be conducted during a five-day period, excluding weekends, and will continue through Nov. 24.
  • Plans for commencement will be announced in the coming weeks.

4:15 p.m.
East Carolina University has identified clusters of COVID-19 cases in Scott Hall and within Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority.

There are currently eight positive cases related to Scott Hall and nine positives associated with Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority.
A “cluster” is defined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as a minimum of five cases with illness onset or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiological link between cases. “Location” is defined as a single residential hall or dwelling.

The individuals in this cluster have been identified and ECU said it is working closely with the Pitt County Health Department. Contact tracing has been initiated with direct communication to anyone determined to have been a close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. A close contact is defined as someone who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes when either person has not been wearing a face covering. Those identified as a close contact will be notified directly and provided with further guidance.

2 p.m.
East Carolina University has postponed its football game against Marshall on September 12 in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pirates and Thundering Herd hope to reschedule the game, ECU Athletics Director Jon Gilbert said Thursday.

“We are disappointed we won’t be able to host Marshall for our season-opener, but our top priority remains the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, fans and our community,” Gilbert said. “Mike Hamrick and Marshall have been tremendous to work with as we work to reschedule the game.”
The Pirates are now scheduled to open the 2020 season September 26 against UCF in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, according to a revised American Athletic Conference schedule also released Thursday..

12:00 p.m.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,091 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day increase this month. At the same time, daily completed tests returned to more average numbers, with 21,077 new tests completed Thursday.

8.2% of tests are positive, the highest rate in over a month.

NCDHHS also added a new metric to its dashboard today–the average turnaround time for test results. To date, the average testing turnaround time is 2.1 days.

Currently, 958 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, with 89% of hospitals reporting. Across the state, 552 intensive care unit beds asnd 5,520 inpatient beds are available.

11:30 a.m.
A massive crowd formed a socially distant line outside a Durham business after it announced it would close.

Morgan Imports has been downtown Durham staple for more than 50 years. However, founders Richard and Jacqueline Morgan announced this week they would be closing the store and retiring.

Thursday morning was the first time the store had opened since the going out of business announcement.

ABC11’s Elaina Athens was at the business around 11 a.m. to talk with customers and the business owners about the closing of Morgan Imports.

THURSDAY MORNING STORYLINES

Johnston County Schools and Durham Public Schools will meet on Thursday to talk about COVID-19 and online learning. Johnston County Schools officials will meet at 6 p.m. and Durham schools will meet at 6:30 p.m.

N.C. State University students will leave their dorms beginning on Thursday. NCSU is joining UNC as going virtual-only for undergraduate students. Students have to be out by Sept. 6.

Latest COVID-19 numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University as of 7 a.m.:
DIAGNOSED CASES::5,822,934
DEATHS: 179,735
RECOVERED: 2,084,465
TOTAL TESTED: 74,549,129

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

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