13 NC counties now show ‘substantial’ spread of COVID-19. Is yours one of them?

·5 min read

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are once again on the rise in North Carolina, state officials have said 13 of the state’s 100 counties demonstrate at least “substantial” community spread of the disease.

And that viral spread is increasing rapidly, according to a report from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services released Thursday.

The news comes as health officials across the country continue to warn of the growing threat of the more contagious Delta variant.

North Carolina issued an update Thursday of its community alert system, which has monitored the spread of COVID-19 in a color-coded map since November. It looks at three metrics: case rate, the percent of tests that are positive, and hospital impact. Vaccination rates are not one of the metrics used.

The report indicates one county, Richmond County, has been designated as red, which indicates “critical community spread.”

Twelve others are labeled orange, indicating “substantial community spread.” Others are yellow, light yellos and green.

In June, Bladen County was the sole red county, The News & Observer reported at the time. There was only one orange county — Wilson. In Bladen County then, 60% of new cases in the county were centered on a single ZIP code, where the vaccination rate lagged behind the state standard.

In order for a county to be labeled red, it must have more than 200 new cases per 100,000 residents with at least 42 total cases over a 14-day period. It must also have either more than 10% of tests returning positive, or a high impact on local hospitals.

For orange counties, there must be between 101 and 200 new cases per 100,000 residents with at least 21 total cases over a 14-day period. There must also be between 8 and 10% of tests returning positive, or a moderate impact on local hospitals.

Now, more than 94% of all new cases are being detected among people who are not vaccinated, DHHS said in a news release accompanying the Thursday report.

“Unvaccinated North Carolinians are unnecessarily getting sick, being hospitalized and dying,” DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen said in the release. “Don’t wait to vaccinate.”

See the local data for the 13 counties that are showing substantial or critical spread, according to NCDHHS. The 12 counties after Richmond are considered “orange.” (14-day percent positive and hospital impact metrics are as of Thursday. All other data is as of Friday.)

Richmond County

  • 14-day case rate per 100,000 residents: 397

  • 14-day new cases: 178

  • 14-day percent positive: 10.9%

  • Hospital impact: Slight

  • Total deaths: 99

  • Percent of population at least partially vaccinated: 37%

  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 35%

Cherokee County

  • 14-day case rate per 100,000 residents: 171

  • 14-day new cases: 49

  • 14-day percent positive: 9.8%

  • Hospital impact: Medium

  • Total deaths: 39

  • Percent of population at least partially vaccinated: 36%

  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 34%

Chowan County

  • 14-day case rate per 100,000 residents: 244

  • 14-day new cases: 34

  • 14-day percent positive: 11.3%

  • Hospital impact: Slight

  • Total deaths: 34

  • Percent of population at least partially vaccinated: 48%

  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 42%

Cleveland County

  • 14-day case rate per 100,000 residents: 201

  • 14-day new cases: 197

  • 14-day percent positive: 8.7%

  • Hospital impact: Slight

  • Total deaths: 228

  • Percent of population at least partially vaccinated: 38%

  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 36%

Cumberland County

  • 14-day case rate per 100,000 residents: 304

  • 14-day new cases: 1,020

  • 14-day percent positive: 9.2%

  • Hospital impact: Slight

  • Total deaths: 330

  • Percent of population at least partially vaccinated: 30%

  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 28%

Graham County

  • 14-day case rate per 100,000 residents: 201

  • 14-day new cases: 17

  • 14-day percent positive: 12.5%

  • Hospital impact: Slight

  • Total deaths: 13

  • Percent of population at least partially vaccinated: 35%

  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 32%

Hoke County

  • 14-day case rate per 100,000 residents: 235

  • 14-day new cases: 130

  • 14-day percent positive: 8.0%

  • Hospital impact: Medium

  • Total deaths: 56

  • Percent of population at least partially vaccinated: 24%

  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 22%

Lee County

  • 14-day case rate per 100,000 residents: 160

  • 14-day new cases: 99

  • 14-day percent positive: 8.3%

  • Hospital impact: Slight

  • Total deaths: 83

  • Percent of population at least partially vaccinated: 43%

  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 40%

Onslow County

  • 14-day case rate per 100,000 residents: 211

  • 14-day new cases: 418

  • 14-day percent positive: 8.3%

  • Hospital impact: Slight

  • Total deaths: 156

  • Percent of population at least partially vaccinated: 24%

  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 22%

Pender County

  • 14-day case rate per 100,000 residents: 197

  • 14-day new cases: 124

  • 14-day percent positive: 8.6%

  • Hospital impact: Moderate

  • Total deaths: 69

  • Percent of population at least partially vaccinated: 40%

  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 38%

Pitt County

  • 14-day case rate per 100,000 residents: 179

  • 14-day new cases: 323

  • 14-day percent positive: 8.8%

  • Hospital impact: Slight

  • Total deaths: 96

  • Percent of population at least partially vaccinated: 43%

  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 40%

Rutherford County

  • 14-day case rate per 100,000 residents: 181

  • 14-day new cases: 121

  • 14-day percent positive: 9.6%

  • Hospital impact: Slight

  • Total deaths: 220

  • Percent of population at least partially vaccinated: 33%

  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 30%

Sampson County

  • 14-day case rate per 100,000 residents: 187

  • 14-day new cases: 119

  • 14-day percent positive: 8.5%

  • Hospital impact: Slight

  • Total deaths: 115

  • Percent of population at least partially vaccinated: 39%

  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 36%

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