NC COVID-19 May 23 update: Highest one-day increase of positive cases reported Saturday

North Carolina

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (pink) cultured in the lab. Credit: NIAID-RML

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/WAVY) — Less than 24 hours into the start of Phase 2 of the reopening of the state, the highest one-day increase of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases was reported in North Carolina.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 1,107 positive COVID-19 cases were reported on Saturday.  

“This is a notable and concerning increase. As we head into a holiday weekend, please practice the three Ws – wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash your hands frequently. When it comes to our health, we need to work together to protect our families, friends and neighbors,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen. 
The number of deaths rose slightly to 737 and the number of people currently hospitalized rose to 589.

A total of 329,582 test have been completed.
NCDHHS epidemiologists are analyzing the data to determine if there were any significant contributing factors. Click here for additional data.

Friday evening marked the start of the “Safer at Home” Phase Two of North Carolina’s reopening. Businesses such as restaurants, salons, and pools were allowed to reopen if they met certain requirements.

Here are the latest numbers for WAVY’s viewing area:

Gates: 21 cases — 1 death

Dare: 18 cases — 1 deaths

Currituck: 11 cases

Pasquotank: 95 cases — 8 deaths

Perquimans: 23 cases — 2 deaths

Hertford: 65 cases — 1 death

Bertie: 109 cases — 3 deaths

Chowan: 14

Camden: 3

Cooper announced the “Count on Me” free online COVID-19 training program initiative. As of Friday, the governor said that over 3,500 people representing more than 1,800 businesses in N.C. have completed the training.

“Count on Me is a free online training. It’s focused on advanced cleaning, disinfection, social distancing, and hygiene practices to better protect the public and employees from exposure to COVID-19,” said Cooper.

More information can be found at The site also has a list of businesses that have already completed the training.

Phase two includes opening restaurants for in-person dining, and salons and pools up to 50% capacity. Gyms and fitness centers are notably excluded from the plan. State officials said the recent high increase in cases led to them leaving those businesses closed.

For more on phase 2, click here.

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