CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina is reporting 2,502 new COVID-19 cases, a slight rise two days after seeing the lowest single-day total since early November.
Since the first case was reported in North Carolina on March 3, 2020, the state has seen 868,056 total positive cases.
The state also says 11,399 people have died of complications with the virus after 36 more deaths were reported Thursday.
There are currently 1,290 North Carolinians hospitalized due to the virus.
Officials say 10,396,113 tests have been given in N.C. as of Thursday, and the percent of positive tests reported was 4.2%.
As of March 1, officials say 819,839 people are presumed to be recovered from COVID-19 in North Carolina. You can monitor the estimated number of patients presumed to be recovered from symptoms from COVID-19 by clicking here.
N.C. COVID-19 Dashboard: Click here for DHHS info on coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations
North Carolina is currently providing COVID-19 vaccinations to individuals in Group 3.
With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine authorized in late February, joining the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines already being distributed, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that frontline essential workers will be eligible for their vaccine earlier than expected - on March 3. The state will begin expanding vaccine eligibility to Group 4 on March 24.
NCDHHS describes frontline essential workers in Group 3 as those who work in:
- Critical manufacturing
- Essential goods
- Foods and agriculture
- Government and community services
- Health care and public health
- Public safety and transportation
Group 4 includes anyone 16-64 years old with one or more high-risk medical conditions for severe disease from COVID-19, people living in close group settings and essential workers (Please note these are different from Group 3 frontline essential workers).
This population includes anyone with conditions that have been identified by the CDC as increasing risk for severe COVID-19 illness:
- Asthma (moderate to severe)
- Cerebrovascular disease or history of stroke
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Dementia or other neurologic condition
- Diabetes type 1 or 2
- Down Syndrome
- A heart condition such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from: immune deficiencies, HIV, taking chronic steroids or other immune weakening medicines, history of solid organ blood or bone marrow transplant
- Liver disease, including hepatitis
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Overweight or obesity
- Sickle cell disease (not including sickle cell trait) or thalassemia
- Smoking (current or former, defined as having smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime)
North Carolina businesses, bars and sporting events are facing fewer COVID-19 restrictions under a new executive order that went into effect on Friday, Feb. 26.
Gov. Cooper said the order is meant to “ease but not lift” restrictions related to COVID-19 across the state.
Cooper said Executive Order 195 was decided on “Given the significant and sustained improvement in our COVID-19 metrics.”
The major changes under this order are below:
- The night-time public closure period for certain businesses and facilities is lifted. These establishments are no longer ordered to close to the public between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
- The Modified Stay at Home Order for individuals is lifted. Individuals no longer must stay at home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
- Indoor areas of bars may reopen, subject to reduced capacity limits and other requirements.
- The curfew on alcohol sales remains in place but is modified to take effect at 11 p.m. The sale and service of alcoholic beverages is prohibited for on-site consumption between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
- Indoor areas of amusement parks may reopen, subject to reduced capacity limits and other requirements.
- Capacity limitations on certain businesses are increased, as detailed below.
- The mass gathering limit increases to 25 people indoors (and remains 50 people outdoors).
Executive Order 195 has two general categories of occupancy restrictions: 30 percent capacity and 50 percent capacity. Officials say that because indoor spaces have a higher risk for spread of COVID-19, those facilities in the 30 percent-occupancy category may not exceed 250 people per indoor room or indoor space.
The 30% Capacity Limit (which may not exceed 250-persons in indoor spaces) includes:
- Meeting, Reception, and Conference Spaces
- Lounges (including tobacco) and Night Clubs
- Indoor areas of Amusement Parks
- Movie Theatres
- Entertainment facilities (e.g., bingo parlors, gaming establishments)
- Sports Arenas and Fields*
Indoor event venues with more than 5,000 seats may be exempt from the 250 person limit if they follow additional safety measures up to 15 percent capacity.
The 50% Capacity Limit includes:
- Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries
- Fitness and Physical Activity Facilities (e.g., gyms, bowling alleys, rock climbing facilities)
- Museums and Aquariums
- Outdoor areas of Amusement Parks
- Salons, Personal Care, Tattoo Parlors
Cooper said the mandatory mask mandate will not change, and that when it comes to easing certain restrictions, they are “depending on people to be responsible.”