RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 636 residents of North Carolina have tested positive for COVID-19 as of its 10:15 a.m. update on Thursday, March 26. The Raleigh News & Observer reports at least 690 people in North Carolina have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an update by that publication as of 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 26.
DHHS reported that the virus has led to the death of one North Carolina resident. However, Gov. Roy Cooper announced on March 25 that there have been two COVID-19-related deaths in the state, including a Virginia resident who had traveled to North Carolina.
On Thursday morning, the state reported that 12,910 tests have been conducted by the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health and reporting hospital and commercial laboratories.
Mitchell County reported its first case of COVID-19 through Toe River Health District, according to a March 25 press release.
"Mitchell County has been preparing for this reality and anticipated that our community would likely be impacted at some point. Public health staff have already initiated an investigation and will be identifying close contacts to contain the spread of disease. To protect individual privacy, no further information about the case will be released," the release from Toe River Health District, which encompasses the health departments of Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties, stated. "The Mitchell County Health Department will keep the public informed by announcing any additional cases that may arise through our local media partners."
The counties with the highest number of positive tests, according to Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, include Mecklenburg County with 181 reported cases, and 84 reported cases in both Durham and Wake counties.
Both Avery and Ashe counties have yet to report a positive case of the virus within their borders. Watauga County has reported four cases of COVID-19, the latest of which was reported March 26.
A State of Emergency was declared on March 20 by Avery County Commissioners, with a suspension of short-term rentals through April 18 amended to the county's original state of emergency declaration on March 25 by the county.
Johns Hopkins University and Medicine reports as of 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, that a total of 75,233 confirmed cases in the United States. The total represents the third-largest total of cases worldwide, trailing only China and Italy. At that time, the university reported that there had been a total of 1,070 COVID-19-related deaths across the country and a total of 619 individuals having recovered from the virus.