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North Carolina, Triangle area continue to see high COVID-19 case rates

Duke has reported higher COVID-19 infection numbers over the last few weeks than it did earlier in the semester, but how do county and state numbers compare? 

North Carolina

As of Oct. 27, North Carolina has administered almost 3.9 million COVID-19 tests, reporting 263,883 positive cases and 4,170 deaths. That includes 2,141 total cases reported Tuesday, and 6.6% of Monday’s tests came back positive. The seven-day average positivity rate was 6.7% as of Friday. 


Recent seven-day averages.

By comparison, Duke reported 21 positive tests out of 15,378 total between Oct. 17 and Oct. 23, for a positivity rate of only 0.14%. Duke, however, is extensively testing asymptomatic people, conducting 15,053 surveillance tests during that time period. 

Mecklenburg County—which includes Charlotte, the most populous city in the state—has reported the most positive cases in the state, with 33,552 positive tests and 386 deaths as of Oct. 27, according to the COVID-19 North Carolina dashboard.

There are 1,214 people currently hospitalized in the state, with 61% of ventilators and 11% of ICU beds still available at hospitals. As of Oct. 26, an estimated 218,541 residents have recovered from the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

Durham County

Durham County estimates that 5,766 tests were administered from Oct. 11 to Oct. 17 with a 5.4% positivity rate, according to the Durham County Coronavirus Hub. 

The data is based on a seven day moving average and was last updated Oct. 22. This positivity rate has been steadily increasing, moving up from 4.9% the week prior and 4.7%, 3.7% and 3.7% the weeks before that.

The Susceptible Infected and Recovered model for Durham projects that 2,213 residents are currently infected as of Oct. 27, with 24,904 recovered and more than 294,000 residents susceptible to contracting the virus.

As of Oct. 27, Durham County has had more than 8,933 COVID-19 cases and 101 deaths. This marks 188 cases out of every 100,000 residents.

Orange County

Orange County, home to the town of Chapel Hill, has had 3,079 cumulative COVID-19 cases—an increase of 3.4% since last week—and 58 deaths as of Oct. 27. Over the last 14 days, this marks 151 cases per every 100,000 county residents. Roughly 44% of Orange County cases are in people 18-24 years of age.

As of Oct. 12, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has reported 1,261 total COVID-19 cases, with 1,179 students and 82 employees testing positive. There was one new case on campus last week.

Wake County

As of Oct. 27, Wake County has reported 20,953 positive COVID-19 tests and 270 deaths, bringing the county to 153 cases for every 100,000 residents. As of Oct. 26, there were 58 people hospitalized with the virus, a number that has remained steady since Oct. 14.

North Carolina State University reported on Oct. 26 that there were 1,204 cumulative COVID-19 cases on campus from “testing and self-reporting.” There were no new positive cases reported Oct. 25 or Oct. 26.

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