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

NC Passes 3,000 Daily Reported COVID-19 Cases For First Time

North Carolina on Wednesday reported 3,119 new COVID-19 cases, its highest one-day number to date, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. It was also the first time the state crossed the 3,000 mark of reported new daily new cases, according to a WFAE analysis.

Coronavirus graphic

The daily new reported cases number reflects positive test results labs reported to DHHS on Wednesday. There is lag time between when someone takes a coronavirus test and when they get a result. On its website, the state health department also tracks the number of positives based on the day a person was tested, or “date of specimen collection.” The specimen collection date on Wednesday showed that the Nov. 2 specimen collection date had the highest number of positives at 3,079.

“This is not the milestone we want to be hitting, particularly as we head into holidays where people want to come together,” Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said in a news release.

The percentage of tests that were positive in Wednesday's report was 7.9%. Cohen has repeatedly said she would like the state’s test positivity rate to be around 5%.

The number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 on Tuesday was 1,246, 16 more than on Monday. North Carolina’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have remained relatively level, though the daily hospitalizations have been above 1,000 since at least Oct. 12.

On Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that the state’s indoor mass gathering limit would be lowered to 10 people beginning Friday in an effort to drive down the state’s COVID-19 metrics. The order will remain in effect through at least Dec. 4.

The U.S. hit a record number of hospitalizations and surpassed 1 million new confirmed cases in just the first 10 days of November. The grim milestones on Tuesday come amid a nationwide surge of infections that shows no signs of slowing.

The new wave appears bigger and more widespread than the surges that happened in the spring and summer — and threatens to be worse. Deaths nationwide are climbing again, reaching an average of more than 930 a day. However, experts say medical and testing advances give them reason to believe the nation is better able to deal with the virus at this time.

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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.