RALEIGH — As of Tuesday, Sept. 15, according to latest available dashboard data, COVID-19 cases in North Carolina had increased by approximately 9,000 cases over the previous seven-day mark, as the state has more than 186,887 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. The state has experienced an increase in hospitalizations over the span of the last week, as NCDHHS reported on Sept. 15 that 916 people were hospitalized, compared to 765 hospitalizations reported seven days earlier.

NCDHHS reports an additional 214 North Carolinians have died related to the virus in the same seven-day span, as the agency reports 3,111 overall deaths.

In a September 14 release, TRHD reported two new positive community cases of COVID-19, which puts them at 189 positive community cases, 177 community members have recovered, 11 community members are active, and one community death. TRHD added on Sept. 14 that the prison reported another 45 positive cases for a total of 143 cases in that congregate living location, with the majority of the inmate cases asymptomatic.

Avery possesses the greatest number of cases per 10,000 people in the High Country with its recent uptick, according to NCDHHS data, with 175 cases per 10,000 residents. In comparison, NCDHHS reports Watauga has 97 cases per 10,000 residents, while Ashe has 90 cases per 10,000 residents. Only Cherokee County (192 cases per 10,000 residents) has a higher ratio of all Western NC counties bordering neighboring Tennessee.

“Public health staff is working to complete the investigations and they are contacting close contacts to contain the spread of disease. To protect individual privacy, no further information about the cases will be released,” the Sept. 14 TRHD release stated. “The Yancey, Mitchell and Avery County health departments will keep the public informed by announcing any additional cases that may arise through our local media partners.”

Yancey County had seven new positive cases on Sept. 14, which puts the county at 209 positive cases, with 198 having recovered, 10 active cases and one death.

Mitchell County on Sept. 14 reported two positive cases for a total of 157, with 147 having recovered, six active cases and four deaths.

Nationwide, Johns Hopkins University & Medicine reports more than 29.3 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with a total of 6,557,802 cases in the U.S. as of Tuesday morning, Sept. 15, with 194,674 reported deaths nationwide and more than 2,474,570 individuals across the country reported as having recovered from the virus.

The N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health, reporting hospitals and commercial labs report 2,652,440 completed tests as of Tuesday morning, Sept. 15, according to N.C. DHHS. The estimate of people presumed to have recovered from the virus as of Sept. 14 as 167,257 statewide, with the estimate provided each Monday by NCDHHS. NCDHHS estimates a median time to recovery of 14 days from the date of specimen collection for non-fatal COVID-19 cases who were not hospitalized, or if hospitalization status is unknown. The estimated median recovery time is 28 days from the date of specimen collection for hospitalized non-fatal COVID-19 cases.

In neighboring counties, Watauga County has reported 540 positive tests among residents, Caldwell County has 1,526 positive tests as of Sept. 15 with 17 deaths, while Wilkes County has 1,124 reported cases and 31 deaths, according to NCDHHS. Ashe County has 244 cases and one death, and the department reports McDowell County with 870 cases and 26 deaths. Burke County reports 1,974 cases and 33 deaths attributed to the virus, according to NCDHHS.

In Tennessee, Johnson County reports 561 cases with two deaths, while Carter County reports 1,065 cases and 26 deaths as of Sept. 15, according to statistics from the Tennessee Department of Health.

Statewide, Mecklenburg County has reported the most cases with 27,021. Wake County is reporting 16,480 cases and Durham County reports 7,335 cases, according to Sept. 15 NCDHHS statistics. At least 47 of North Carolina’s 100 counties report at least 1,000 COVID-19 cases.

The reported testing numbers could be incomplete due to differences in reporting from health departments and other agencies. Sources include Toe River Health District, AppHealthCare, NCDHHS, Caldwell County Health Department and Tennessee Department of Health.

Updated news and information on the coronavirus pandemic and the state’s response can be found by clicking to covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard.

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