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N. Carolina reports over 2,000 new coronavirus cases as university clusters increase

By Sophie Kasakove, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) on

Published in News & Features

RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolina's reported coronavirus total rose by more than 2,000 cases Thursday, only the second time this month the state's case total increased by more than 2,000 in a single day.

The state Department of Health and Human Services reported 161,076 confirmed cases of COVID-19, up 2,091 from Wednesday's total. Thursday's case increase was the largest since July 30, when the state reported 2,344 new cases. The state DHHS reported 2,008 cases on Aug. 21, the only other time this month the daily increase was more than 2,000.

Reported deaths from COVID-19 in North Carolina increased to 2,630 since the pandemic was first reported in the state in early March. That's 24 more reported deaths than on Wednesday.

Universities statewide continued to report new COVID-19 clusters. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has reported 11 clusters tied to dorms and Greek housing. Orange County reported two additional clusters in UNC dorms Thursday then later said that was a mistake. North Carolina State now has 24 clusters after the school reported three new ones late Wednesday.

Several colleges, including UNC and N.C. State have switched to remote learning. N.C. State students will leave their dorms beginning Thursday, and all students are required to leave on-campus housing by Sept. 6. N.C State is providing a two-day class break for students on Aug. 31, and Sept. 1, to allow on-campus students time to move following Wednesday's announcement about reducing campus housing.

East Carolina University moved all classes online Wednesday.

As of Thursday, the DHHS reported the percentage of cases among people ages 18-24 was higher in Wake and Orange counties than the state average of 15%. In Orange County, 44% of cases were among that age bracket. In Wake County, home to N.C. State, they made up 20% of cases. In Durham County, where Duke University is, they made up 13%.


The state's positive COVID-19 testing rate, last updated Wednesday, was 8.2%.

Across the state, 2,152,725 tests have now been performed, according to DHHS. On Monday, NC DHHS in its weekly report said roughly 136,000 of its COVID-19 patients are presumed to have recovered.

North Carolina's DHHS has added average turnaround times for testing results to its online data dashboard. On Thursday, the average turnaround time was 2.1 days.

DHHS reported 958 patients hospitalized statewide with 89% of hospitals reporting. Available intensive-care beds increased from 540 on Wednesday to 552 on Thursday.

DHHS reported 380 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized, down from 406 in Wednesday's report.

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