North Carolina sees one county move up to ‘critical community spread’ for COVID-19


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina now has one county in the “critical community spread” zone for COVID-19, as state health officials released an updated map on Friday.

On April 1, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released its COVID-19 County Alert System map. No counties were in the red at that time.

As of Friday, April 16, the newly released map lists the one red county, 20 orange counties (previously 21 counties in the April 1 report), 48 yellow counties (previously 47), 30 light yellow counties (previously 31) and one green county (previously one).

Edgecombe County was listed as the red/critical county.

A total of 18 counties moved to a higher tier with 19 counties having moved down a tier and 63 counties remaining in the same tier.

NCDHHS said the state’s key COVID-19 metrics are leveling off after weeks of decline.

“We want to see our trends in new cases, hospitalizations and percent positive of tests decline again,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen. “The best way we can do that is by having as many people get vaccinated as quickly as possible and keep wearing our masks when out in public.”

NCDHHS said the COVID-19 County Alert System gives individuals, businesses and community organizations, and public officials a tool to understand how their county is faring and to make decisions about actions to take slow the spread of the virus.

The COVID-19 County Alert System uses metrics informed by North Carolina’s key metrics to categorize counties into five tiers: 

  1. Green: Low Community Spread 
  2. Light Yellow: Moderate Community Spread 
  3. Yellow: Significant Community Spread 
  4. Orange: Substantial Community Spread 
  5. Red: Critical Community Spread 

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