COVID-19 puts N.C. “In Danger” says Gov.By Cash Michaels, Peacemaker Senior Contributor / November 27, 2020
As Black families come together to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, they do so in the shadow of extreme risk.
The number of coronavirus cases has risen across the state, according to the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services, and in the words of Gov. Roy Cooper, Monday during a press conference, “We are in danger.”
All of the telltale signs of COVID-19 approaching critical mass statewide are now present, says NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen.
North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID – like illnesses is increasing; the trajectory of confirmed cases over 14 days is increasing; trajectory in percent of tests returning positive is increasing slightly; the number of hospitalizations is increasing.
Dr. Cohen assured the public that currently, the state has the capacity to manage the pandemic, just as long as citizens continue to do their part to stem the spread.
However, now 20 counties across the state are considered “red” on the color-coded alert system chart – up from nine counties when the system was introduced just last week.
Guilford County is one of the new eleven counties added to the red alert list, indicating that it has 200 cases per 100,000 people over a 14-day period; a positive test rate of 10 percent or higher, and local hospitals reaching COVID-19 treatment capacity.
As a result, by Executive Order 180, which is now in effect until December 11, “…the Order tightens the existing statewide mask requirement – making it clear that everyone needs to wear a mask whenever they are with someone who is not from the same household. The Order also adds the mask requirement to several additional settings including any public indoor space even when maintaining six feet of distance; gyms even when exercising; all schools public and private; and all public or private transportation when traveling with people outside of the household.”
“The Order also requires large retail businesses with more than 15,000 square feet to have an employee stationed near entrances ensuring mask wearing and implementing occupancy limits for patrons who enter.”
“I have a stark warning for North Carolinians today: We are in danger,” Governor Cooper said. “This is a pivotal moment in our fight against the coronavirus. Our actions now will determine the fate of many.”
As of Monday, NCDHHS reported that there were more than 339,194 COVID-19 cases in North Carolina, with more than 5,000 deaths (almost 1,000 just in the past month).