COVID-19, News

How much COVID spread is in your county? NC officials debut a new map that makes it easier to tell.


Yellow. Orange. Red.

The three colors represent three tiers that will help North Carolinians know at-a-glance whether the viral spread of the coronavirus where they live is significant, substantial, or critical.

The new COVID-19 County Alert System uses a combination of three metrics to determine the risk: the case rate, the percent of tests that are positive, and the hospital impact within the county.

“By pinpointing counties with high virus transmission and asking everyone in those counties to work with us and do more right now to slow the spread of the virus,we can succeed,” said Governor Cooper.

Cooper discussed the county-level tool on Tuesday as new COVID cases jumped by 3,288 with 1,501 people hospitalized from the virus.

In addition to helping better illustrate which counties have the highest levels of viral spread, the alert system offers specific recommendations to help bring those COVID numbers down.

“No matter the color of your county, there are critical actions we can all take to slow the spread,” explained state Health and Human Service Secretary Mandy Cohen.

Earlier this week, Cohen’s department warned nearly twice as many new cases have been reported from rural counties compared to urban or suburban counties.

Ten counties were listed as critical (red) on Tuesday with a high impact on county hospitals.

  • Alexander
  • Avery
  • Columbus
  • Davie
  • Gaston
  • Hoke
  • Mitchell
  • Sampson
  • Wilkes
  • Wilson

State officials will update the COVID-19 County Alert map on a monthly basis. Find how your county fared here (See pages  9-12.).

For an up-to-date listing of places to get tested for the virus, visit the state’s Community Testing Events webpage.

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