Key metrics used to measure North Carolina’s trajectory of COVID-19 cases are showing signs of leveling.
“These early signs are a testament to hard work folks have been doing across the state. They show what is possible when we all work together,” said Cohen.
With the state performing an average of 29,000 tests a day, roughly eight percent of the cases have been positive over the last 14 days. Today there were 1,749 new cases of the virus.
The number of hospitalizations is up, but the state still has capacity.
And as for those masks that we’re growing accustomed to wearing?
Dr. Cohen believes they are making a difference.
“We see a direct correlation to the start of the statewide mask requirement at the end of June. Two to three weeks after implementing this requirement, we started to see the beginning of these more stable trends.”
To that end, Governor Roy Cooper issued a new executive order Tuesday to limit the sale of alcohol at restaurants after 11:00pm.
The statewide order that goes into effect on Friday will curtail the sale of alcoholic drinks in restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries. For now, bars remained closed under a previous executive order.
The order will not apply to grocery stores or convenience stores where alcohol is sold for off-premises consumption.
“We want to prevent restaurants from turning into bars after hours. We are hopeful this new rule can drive down cases, particularly among young people,” explained Cooper.
The governor said he felt the new order was especially important with college students returning to North Carolina from across the country over the next two weeks.
Secretary Cohen believes as cases tick upward in other states, the key to keeping cases from exploding here is to continue the three Ws: Wearing a face mask, waiting six-feet apart when in public, and washing your hands frequently.
“Seeing glimmers of potential progress, does not mean we can let up. It means it is time to double down. Adding 2,000 new cases per day is still a lot of new cases.”