DEATH TOLL PASSES 100
North Carolina has at least 4,967 reported cases of the coronavirus as of Tuesday morning, and 108 people have died, according to state and county health departments.
At least 313 North Carolinians were hospitalized with COVID-19 Monday afternoon, and more than 63,000 have been tested for the virus, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
All but eight of the state’s 100 counties have reported at least one case of the coronavirus.
Mecklenburg County has the most, with 975 cases and 15 deaths. The county reported an additional 24 cases and three deaths Monday.
In the Triangle, more than 1,000 cases have been reported between Wake, Durham, Orange and Johnston counties. Eight cases have been reported in Johnston, two in Orange and one in Durham County.
INMATES RELEASED EARLY
Some inmates are starting to be released early from North Carolina prisons in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, officials said Monday.
About 500 inmates are being considered for early release. None of them have been convicted of a violent crime and all are scheduled to be released this year.
Those that will be released early are either more vulnerable, on home leave with a release date in 2020 or those on work release with a release in 2020.
They will continue to be supervised, often with electronic monitoring.
A North Carolina hospital system will perform antibody tests on 1,000 patients.
Wake Forest Baptist Health will conduct a year-long random sample of its patients to try to find out how widespread the virus is in the state.
The at-home tests involve pricking the patient’s finger. The test then looks for antibodies in the blood, with a positive test meaning the person was previously exposed to the virus.
COOPER SAYS RESTRICTIONS NECESSARY
Gov. Roy Cooper emphasized in a news conference Monday the importance of North Carolina’s measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Some, including a group called ReopenNC, are criticizing the governor’s response to the pandemic and demanding that restrictions be loosened.
But Cooper said Monday that the measures are working and that a “wholesale lifting” of the order would be “catastrophic” for North Carolina.
He has not said if he plans to extend the statewide stay-at-home order, which is in effect until April 29, but said the next couple weeks will determine what orders and restrictions are needed in May.