North Carolina recorded its highest single-day increase in daily coronavirus cases with 4,296 new cases reported on Thursday (November 19), according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The number of hospitalizations and positivity rate have also seen increases recently.
"I am very concerned," said NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen. "We are seeing warning signs in our trends that we need to heed to keep our family and friends from getting sick and ensuring our hospitals are able to care for those that have serious illness."
Earlier this week, Gov. Roy Cooper introduced a new alert system that keeps track of coronavirus cases throughout North Carolina. The color-coded map will show the level of COVID-19 cases in each of the state's 100 counties. On Thursday, he said it was still important to practice guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We have to double down on our efforts to slow the spread of this virus," Gov. Cooper said in a tweet on Thursday. "It's more important than ever to wear our masks, stay socially distant have smaller and safer plans for the holidays."
Though the numbers have increased across the board, Cohen still believes there is a light at the end of this pandemic tunnel.
"We have reasons for hope. With promising news on vaccines, this pandemic will end," said Cohen. "Until then, North Carolinians need to do what we've done throughout this pandemic — take care of one another."
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