Governor, NCDHHS secretary, speak about recent spike in COVID cases

Highest single-day increase of new COVID cases in NC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen addressed the state’s most recent spike in COVID-19 cases Thursday afternoon.

NCDHHS announced 2,532 new COVID-19 cases Thursday. There have now been 238,939 confirmed cases of the virus in North Carolina since the beginning of the pandemic.

Dr. Cohen explained that the state’s case numbers are headed in the wrong direction. Data shows that North Carolina is seeing another spike in cases. Cohen explained that while the spike North Carolina saw in August could be attributed to students returning to college campuses, there is no definitive cause for this most recent surge in cases.

“Unlike August, our current worsening trends don’t link to any one place, or any one age group, or any one type of activity,” said Cohen.

The state health official did explain that the changing of the seasons will not help with controlling the spread of the virus.

“It is also just the shear fact that the temperature is lower, and the humidity is lower that makes it more conducive for this virus to spread,” said Cohen. “We don’t think the virus is changing in any way. It is us that needs to be vigilant to prevent the spread of this virus.”

During the press conference, Cooper was asked about re-implementing restrictions to control the spread of the virus.

“Our goal is to get these numbers down,” said the governor. “We will analyze the data as it comes in and we’re not gonna take one day. We’re gonna look at the 14-day period of time to make decisions on what we do about safeguards, but we hope that by working together we can try to drive these numbers down.”

Cooper offered a message of encouragement to the public, asking them to continue practicing social distancing and wearing masks in public.

“We have done this before. When we pulled together more and we were able to drive those numbers down, that was a good thing so we’re gonna keep working on it,” said Cooper.

As cases spike, the pandemic continues to impact North Carolinians in a variety of ways.

Babby Smith, the pre-school director at First Baptist Church in uptown Charlotte, said her school has had to make adjustments to keep staff members and children safe during the pandemic.

“We’ve had to change how we do things,” said Smith. “Classes don’t interact with each other. Right now, no field trips, no special guests.”

Smith said she takes the health risks seriously, and recently lost a friend to the coronavirus.

“It was just so hard when I heard that she had gotten ill and was in the hospital and then as we went along and just hearing that she wasn’t getting better and it just overtook her lungs and she just couldn’t fight,” said Smith.

She encouraged others to wear masks to slow the spread of the virus.

“We all want to be able to live the healthiest life that we can, and we’re taking care of each other if we all will just wear a mask and do what’s asked of us,” said Smith.

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