NC sees known COVID-19 cases jump to 636


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina health officials now say there are 636 known cases of coronavirus across the state.

The number of known cases stood at 504 on Wednesday.

RELATED: Full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic

The state announced its first coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday. A person in their late 70s from Cabarrus County died on March 24 from complications associated with the virus.

That patient had several underlying medical conditions.

The second death was a person in their 60s from Virginia who was traveling through North Carolina.

No additional deaths were announced by the state Thursday morning.

The number of known cases has steadily moved up since North Carolina announced its first case on March 3.

Mecklenburg County has 181 cases while Wake County has 83, according to NCCDHHS. Durham County has 75.

The increase in cases can be connected to the expansion of testing – which occurs at the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health as well as hospitals and commercial labs.

The state said a total of 12,910 tests have been completed – 2,000 additional tests as compared to Thursday.

Wake County will join Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, and Orange counties along with the City of Durham by issuing a “stay-at-home” order on Thursday.

Wake County has a 1 p.m. press conference scheduled to reveal the details of its order.

Gov. Roy Cooper, who does not have a press conference scheduled for Thursday yet, said he will issue new guidance for the state soon.

Dr. Betsy Tilson with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services issued new guidance in terms of what the public should do if they are experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms.

“Stay at home,” Tilson said.

She asked for anyone with mild symptoms to stay at home and call their doctor so testing and medical supplies go to those who are high risk.

“I’ve talked to doctors across the state and they have been heroic in standing up a variety of strategies to increase access to safe care for their patients,” Tilson said. “Just as they do every day of the year, doctors are guided first and foremost by what is best for their patients’ well-being.”

According to the CDC, those at higher include people who:

  • Are 65 years and older.
  • Live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
  • Have a high-risk condition, including chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, heart disease with complications, compromised immune system, severe obesity with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher or other underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease.

People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk for severe viral illness.

However, to date, data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk for severe illness due to pregnancy. While children are generally at lower risk for severe infection, some studies indicate a higher risk among infants.

Johns Hopkins University said there have been 1,046 coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S.

As of Thursday morning, the University said there are 69,197 cases across America.

New York accounts for the majority of those cases. The University said New York has more than 33,000 known cases and at least 280 deaths.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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