Highlights from Gov. Roy Cooper’s press conference:
“We can do this North Carolina”
Cooper started off by acknowledging North Carolina’s most recent COVID-19 numbers, including 9,568 confirmed cases, 463 currently hospitalized and 342 deaths. 36 of those deaths were reported Tuesday, the highest daily increase in deaths for the state so far.
“We’re seeing some leveling and I hope to see more,” Cooper said. “We know what helps push down these numbers: social distancing, careful cleaning and staying home. If we keep working at these, we’ll get to where we need to be … for now stick with it, I know it’s hard, but it’s saving lives … we can do this North Carolina.”
Plan for contact tracing
Cooper says the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services signed a key partnership to contact trace COVID-19 cases, bringing in an additional 250 workers to help in the Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative. Volunteers are still needed. About 1,000 people have expressed interest and unemployed North Carolinians will receive priority.
“Contact tracing is critical to our ability to safely ease restrictions,” Cooper said. “Think of it like detective work helping track down anyone who may have been exposed to a person who tests positive … that’s an essential step to containing and isolating those who may carry the disease.”
Cohen wants help for low-income, under-insured people
NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen is calling on the federal government to provide more support to low-income people by expanding Medicaid in North Carolina. She says relief money has been disproportionately given to privately insured and Medicare patients, not those who are uninsured and on Medicaid.
NASCAR race is a go
He and state public health officials have had discussions with NASCAR and the speedway regarding safety protocols for staging the race. Cooper said the state offered input on NASCAR’s plan, but he believes the race can go forward on Memorial Day weekend for the 60th consecutive year.
Latest North Carolina numbers
North Carolina is reporting 426 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, and 36 new deaths linked to the disease — its highest per day increase in reported deaths.
342 people have now died from COVID-19 complications since the start of the pandemic.
Daily reported cases are trended upward, after a brief drop in daily reported numbers. The numbers reported by North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services only reflect testing confirmed cases, not all people who have or have had COVID-19.
Here’s the latest breakdown for the WAVY viewing area:
- Camden: 1
- Currituck: 1
- Dare: 11 cases, 1 death
- Gates: 7 cases
- Hertford: 32 cases, 1 death
- Pasquotank: 35 cases, 1 death
- Perquimans: 12 cases
Current hospitalizations (463) dipped slightly from Monday, but have remained between about 430 patients and 480 in the past week.
2,832 new tests were reported on Tuesday, up slightly from the past two days, but well below recent figures. North Carolina is testing about 4,000 people a day on average.
For more information from NCDHHS, click here.