CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina has hit a sobering milestone.
According to state health officials, North Carolina surpassed 10,000 COVID-19 related deaths.
“We passed a grim milestone of 10,000 deaths in North Carolina,” N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper said. “It is a stark reminder of how dangerous this virus can be. Our hearts go out to lost loved ones to this cruel disease.”
The state reported 55 more deaths on Tuesday.
Since the first reported coronavirus case was reported in North Carolina on March 3, 2020, there have been 10,041 virus-related deaths.
North Carolina also surpassed 800,000 confirmed cases of the virus in a little less than a year.
“We must continue to keep our guards up,” Cooper said. “This virus and its variants are still spreading too easily.”
“Together we grieve with the family and friends of the North Carolinians who have lost their lives to this terrible pandemic,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. “Each one of these numbers represents a daughter or son, a parent or grandparent, a neighbor or friend — people who are deeply loved and who were part of the fabric of our community.”
Both CDC and NCDHHS guidelines say everyone should keep wearing a mask, waiting at least 6 feet apart and washing hands often to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We are still seeing very high levels of spread across North Carolina,” Cohen said. “Our most powerful tools to help protect ourselves and our loved ones are to practice the 3Ws and get vaccinated when it’s your turn.”
The state is continuing to push out vaccinations.
Currently, those 65 years and older, frontline healthcare workers and staff and residents and long-term living facilities are eligible to receive the vaccine.
As of Tuesday, North Carolina has administered more than 1.4 million doses of the vaccine.
One hundred percent of first doses received by the federal government for NC providers have been administered, as well as 50 percent of second doses.