The first COVID-19 case in North Carolina was confirmed on March 3, 2020. A lot has happened in the month since. Hear from North Carolinians on how their lives have been turned upside down, and how they’re coping as the cases continue to climb.
We’re keeping track of the most up-to-date news about the coronavirus in North Carolina. Check back for updates.
CASES PASS 3,000
North Carolina has at least 3,031 reported cases of the coronavirus as of Tuesday morning, and 48 people have died, according to state and county health departments.
The number of reported cases in North Carolina doubled in six days, hitting the 3,000 mark Monday evening. But the total number of cases is likely higher, experts say.
At least 270 people were in the hospital with COVID-19 as of Monday night, and more than 40,726 have been tested for the virus, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
Mecklenburg County, an epicenter of the pandemic in North Carolina, has 741 reported cases and seven deaths, the most in the state.
Wake County has 325 reported cases and no deaths, while neighboring Durham County has 203 reported cases and one death.
An antiviral drug researchers at UNC helped develop will be tested on humans as a treatment for the coronavirus.
The drug, called EIDD-2801, can be taken in pill form and prevented or reduced severe lung damage during testing on mice infected with COVID-19, researchers say.
Clinical trials on humans are expected to start in the spring.
PROJECTING THE ‘PEAK’
The coronavirus pandemic will peak early next week in North Carolina, weeks earlier than originally projected, according to researchers at the University of Washington.
Researchers predict the maximum use of hospital beds will come on Monday, April 13, and that deaths will peak two days later, at 30 a day, before steadily declining to zero in early May.
But North Carolina models developed locally predict the need for beds will peak in mid to late May, a full month after the Washington researchers’ outlook.
“We know that modeling is not a crystal ball,” said Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services,
EXTEND SOCIAL DISTANCING?
North Carolina could have up to 750,000 coronavirus cases by the end of May if social distancing measures don’t get extended, according to a model released Monday.
The state’s stay-at-home order is set to expire on April 29. If social distancing measures extend into May, about 250,000 people could get the disease in North Carolina, according to the model from experts at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill.
PRISONS LIMIT MOVEMENT
North Carolina prisons have stopped accepting offenders from county jails for the next two weeks in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, officials said Monday.
The transfer of inmates between prisons will mostly stop during this time.
As of Monday, eight inmates in the North Carolina prison system had tested positive for the coronavirus.
About 450 inmates are sent to state prisons each week and about 1,110 are transferred between prisons each week.
OUTBREAK AT FEDERAL PRISON
Reported coronavirus cases at a federal prison in North Carolina have increased dramatically, officials said Monday.
At least 59 people have tested positive for the virus at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, which is five times the number reported over the weekend.
The majority of those cases are among inmates.