State leaders say North Carolina is not yet ready to enter phase three of reopening

Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 6:57 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Governor Roy Cooper and state health officials say North Carolina is not ready to enter phase three of reopening based on statewide trends of the coronavirus.

Governor Roy Cooper and Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen say the data they are analyzing is not where it should be to enter phase three. North Carolina is in its second week of phase two.

The state is basing its decision-making off four metrics, in addition to the state’s capacity for testing, tracing and its hospital capacity.

According to Dr. Cohen, over the last two weeks North Carolina has seen a decline in COVID-like syndromic cases. She says COVID-like syndromic cases accounts for people showing signs of COVID-19 but have not tested positive.

The second metric they are monitoring is laboratory-confirmed positive cases. Dr. Cohen says they have seen the number of positive cases increase. She says this number has increased in part because of increased testing and in part because there is still viral spread in our communities.

The third metric they are monitoring is the percent of positive cases and total cases across the state. Dr. Cohen says this metric has remained level over the last two weeks.

Finally, they are measuring the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Dr. Cohen says there is a slight increase in this metric.

Because of the recent trends, Dr. Cohen and Governor Roy Cooper say it is not yet time to enter Phase 3.

“That’s why as we’re easing restrictions, we’re doing it in a measured way because if we were to see a spike in the virus, we could overwhelm our healthcare system pretty rapidly,” Dr. Cohen said.

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