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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

North Carolina Again Reports Record High Coronavirus Cases

NC Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, in file photo from April 23, 2020
NC Department of Public Safety

North Carolina on Friday reported a new record high in the number of daily coronavirus cases for the second day in a row. On Thursday, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,532 new cases. That number jumped to 2,684 the following day.

The percentage of positive tests out of total tests as of Wednesday was 6.3%. It’s not yet clear whether that percentage was affected by the subsequent jump in cases.

DHHS also reported 1,148 hospitalizations on Friday, the second-highest number of hospitalizations in the past 30 days. State Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen called the worsening trends “frustrating” at a press conference on Thursday.

Similar trends are emerging in the Charlotte area.

Mecklenburg County reported an average of 130 daily new cases over the past week, according to the latest county numbers, which used data reported as of Wednesday. That’s up from the previous 14 day average of 108.

At CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Gaston County, hospitalizations have tripled over the past month, “moving from approximately 15 to more than 65 each day,” said spokeswoman Meghan Berney.

Cohen has said the current trends aren’t attributable to one single event, location or age group. She has cited coronavirus fatigue as well as increasingly colder weather. Gaston County assistant health director Brittain Kenney echoed those sentiments on Friday.

“[The spread] truly is across the board, in every population,” Kenney said.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper moved the state into Phase 3 of its reopening plan on Oct. 2. The current executive order is set to expire on Oct. 23.

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Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literature and Spanish. Claire is originally from Richmond, Virginia. Reach her at cdonnelly@wfae.org or on Twitter @donnellyclairee.