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RALEIGH — A total of 163 people in North Carolina have died with the COVID-19 virus as of 11 a.m. on Friday, April 17, and there are 5,968 confirmed cases, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 429 people were hospitalized with the virus as of 11 a.m. on April 17, a decrease of 23 hospitalizations from the previous day, April 16. 

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 reported 672,246 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of 11 a.m. on April 17, with 33,318 reported deaths.

A total of 72,981 tests had been completed by the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health and reporting hospitals and commercial labs as of April 17, according to N.C. DHHS.

Avery County has reported no positive tests for COVID-19 as of April 17, one of seven North Carolina counties yet to report a positive test for the virus. According to Toe River Health District, which includes Avery County Health Department, 66 people in Avery County have been tested, with 65 negative results and one test pending.

"We still don’t have widespread tests availability... So we stick to the guidelines to have tests be used in a manner that best protects the public. We want to test those who are the most likely to spread COVID-19: healthcare workers, long-term-care facility residents, first responders, high-risk and hospitalized patients," according to a social media post from Avery County Health Department on April 15. 

A total of 80 people have been tested in Mitchell County, with 71 negative results, four pending results, and has reported five total positive tests for COVID-19, according to TRHD, with two of those cases having recovered. Yancey County reports 71 tests administered, with all negative results and no current results pending, according to the Toe River Health District.

Watauga County has eight positive tests among residents, plus a traveler who tested positive who is self-isolating in the county, according to AppHealthCare, the district health department for Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany counties.

Caldwell County has 22 positive tests as of April 17, while Wilkes County has four reported cases and one death, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. Ashe County has four cases, while the newspaper reported McDowell County with 20 cases and Burke County with 64 cases.

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