All NC Counties Have Moved Out Of Critical 'Red' Zone For COVID-19
At first glance, North Carolina's updated County Alert System map appears to bear good news: all of North Carolina's 100 counties have moved out of the "red" zone indicating critical spread of COVID-19. It's the first time that's happened since North Carolina rolled out the alert system in November.
But the latest map, which is based off data collected between March 14 - 27, also demonstrates some cause for concern. It shows a slight increase in the number of counties in the "orange" zone, indicating substantial spread of COVID-19.
According to a corresponding report from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human services, that means the state still isn't out of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Although levels are far below the post-holiday peak in January, most of the state continues to experience significant or substantial community spread with concerning increases in younger age groups," the report said.
The 11 counties that moved up into the "orange" zone are Alamance, Currituck, Dare, Davie, Edgecombe, Franklin, Iredell, Nash, Person, Polk, and Sampson Counties.
Gaston County, meanwhile, was among seven counties that moved down from the "orange" zone into one of the state's "yellow" zones, indicating significant or moderate spread. The others were Avery, Bladen, Camden, Granville, Lee, and Pender Counties.
Each level of risk and its corresponding color is determined by a variety of factors, including the number of new cases in the county per 100,000 residents, the percent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive, and the hospital impact within each county.
Also new in this latest map — one county has moved into the "green" zone, indicating low spread of COVID-19. Allegany County, on the Virginia border, is the first North Carolina county to receive the designation.