RALEIGH — North Carolina health officials report the total number of lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state have eclipsed the 70,000 mark, with 70,241 cases, according to statistics updated on July 3 from NC Department of Health and Human Services. The state also has reported 1,392 virus-related deaths.

NCDHHS is reporting the state’s highest one-day number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases with 2,099 cases reported.

Hospitalizations are also at a record high with 951 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

“We are seeing significant spread of the virus and it is very concerning," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen. “Today we have the highest reported day of new cases and hospitalizations — and that should be a warning to us all as we go into this holiday weekend. We don’t get a holiday from COVID-19. We all need to wear a face covering, avoid crowds and wash our hands often.”

The Raleigh News & Observer newspaper reported that 1,392 individuals have died from the virus, with 70,241 cases statewide as of 2 p.m. on Friday, July 3.

The numbers reported by the newspaper, which is compiling the numbers of cases announced by counties throughout the day, vary from the daily reports provided by N.C. DHHS. N.C. DHHS has emphasized that not all people with symptoms of COVID-19 are being tested, and the numbers reported by county and state health departments do not represent the total number of people infected throughout the state.

Nationwide, Johns Hopkins University & Medicine reports a total of 2,772,395 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of 2 p.m. on July 3, with 129,150 reported deaths and more than 781,970 individuals across the country reported as having recovered from the virus.

The N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health and reporting hospitals and commercial labs report close to one million completed tests, with 999,293 as of noon on July 3, according to N.C. DHHS. The estimate of people who have recovered from the virus as of July 1 is 45,538, 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.

The local health district continues to urge practice of safe health protocols with the Fourth of July weekend under way.

“What I would like everyone to think about is Fourth of July, family BBQ’s, work, church, meetings, shopping, etc. There are ways to do these activities and do them safely. The key is mask, social distance and wash your hands. We want people to be able to have some social interaction and ‘normal’ activities, but we want you to do them safely,” Diane Creek with Avery County Health Department stated via the TRHD social media.

Toe River Health District reported on Thursday, July 2, that Avery County had two additional positive tests for COVID-19 and has 20 positive cases, with six having recovered and 14 active. The district's updated totals of tested individuals, negative and pending results were unable due to a downed computer server earlier in the week, according to a social media post from TRHD. As of June 29, a total of 1,257 people had been tested in Avery County, with 990 negative results and 253 tests pending.

According to TRHD, 981 people have been tested in Mitchell County as of June 29 with 833 negative results. TRHD announced on July 2 that six additional residents tested positive for novel Coronavirus in Mitchell County, raising the county's total number of positive cases to 46, with 22 having recovered and 24 active.

Yancey County reported 1,246 people tested, with 1,132 negative results and 72 results pending as of June 29, but the district announced on July 2 that Yancey had two new positives, increasing that county to 46 positive cases, with 41 cases having recovered and five cases active.

In neighboring counties, Watauga County has reported 77 positive tests among residents, Caldwell County has 469 positive tests as of July 3 with four deaths, while Wilkes County has 586 reported cases and six deaths, according to NCDHHS. Ashe County has 54 cases and one death, and the department reports McDowell County with 259 cases and two deaths. Burke County reports 1,074 cases and 20 deaths attributed to the virus, according to NCDHHS.

In Tennessee, Johnson County reports 39 cases, while Carter County reports 56 cases and one death as of July 3, according to statistics from the Tennessee Department of Health.

Statewide, Mecklenburg County has reported the most cases with 12,233. Wake County is reporting 5,651 cases and Durham County reports 3,940 cases, according to July 3 NCDHHS statistics.

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.

For more information on COVID-19 and the state’s response, click to

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.