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NC Faces ‘Uncontrollable’ Coronavirus Spread

As coronavirus cases continue to rise, states are scrambling to find labs that can provide quicker test results. (Adobe Stock)
As coronavirus cases continue to rise, states are scrambling to find labs that can provide quicker test results. (Adobe Stock)
August 6, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina is one of 18 states currently facing an uncontrollable spread of the novel coronavirus, according to the nonpartisan watchdog group CovidExitStrategy.org.

The finding is based on an analysis of the state's performance on certain benchmarks recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including a two-week decline in residents experiencing flu-like symptoms, a diminishing percentage of COVID-positive cases and appropriate hospital capacity.

Katie Craig, field organizer for the North Carolina Public Interest Research Group said her organization believes at this level of spread, it's impossible to effectively trace and track the virus among the population.

"So, currently health experts recommend a daily case incidence of about three per 100,000 before reopening; and here in North Carolina, we are actually at about 18 per 100,000, and seeing that continue to rise," Craig said.

According to data from the state's Department of Health and Human Services, so far more than 129,000 North Carolinians have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 1,000 are currently hospitalized. More than 2,000 residents have died.

Craig said a number of factors have contributed to the uptick in coronavirus cases.

"Testing is being slowed down, so it's slower to get results," Craig said. "So, even if you get tested and then continued about your daily life, you might not know for four or five days you tested positive over a week ago, and then, probably also have been doing things before that while you were positive."

This week, Gov. Roy Cooper announced phase two restrictions, which include closures of bars, movie theaters, gyms, and amusement parks, will be extended until at least mid-September.

Nadia Ramlagan, Public News Service - NC