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

Mecklenburg COVID-19 Hospitalizations Reduced By Half

Erin Keever

The number of people hospitalized in Mecklenburg County for COVID-19 dropped to 54 on Sunday, a sharp drop from the county's peak of 111 patients on April 9.

Over the last month there was been a steady decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Mecklenburg, although the state has seen an increase.

Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to announce this week that North Carolina will enter Phase 1 of reopening, which the state said is being guided by several metrics, including new cases and hospitalizations.

Mecklenburg's health director has said the county is in good shape to begin reopening. And the Novant and Atrium health care systems have said they are resuming nonessential elective surgeries because they have excess capacity.

Data released by the county Tuesday shows that the number of new cases in Mecklenburg continues to be stable or declining slightly.

Despite the drop in new cases and hospitalizations, Mecklenburg published a projection Tuesday that shows a steep rise in hospitalizations over the next two months. That model - from the University of Pennsylvania - shows Mecklenburg hospitalizations will peak on July 14 with more than 1,500 COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

That model, however, projects that hospitalizations should have already started increasing significantly in early May, and that hasn't happened.

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