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Coronavirus live updates: Here's what to know in North Carolina on Nov. 29

The (Raleigh) News & Observer logo The (Raleigh) News & Observer 11/29/2020 Bailey Aldridge, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus in North Carolina. Check back for updates.

Hospitalizations hit record

At least 361,778 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 5,240 have died, according to state health officials.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 3,820 new COVID-19 cases, up from 3,444 reported the day before and the seventh-highest daily total since the start of the pandemic.

Twenty-one additional deaths were also reported Sunday.

At least 1,885 people are reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sunday, surpassing the previous record of 1,840 reported the day before.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed the way states count COVID-19 hospitalizations, which helped increase the state’s numbers by more than 10% on Nov. 13, The News & Observer reported. Daily hospitalizations have continued to rise since then, increasing by more than 400.

About 8.6% of tests were reported positive as of Friday, the latest date for which data are available. That’s above the 5% target set by health officials.

Rural counties see higher numbers

The state’s rural counties continue to see higher numbers of cases per capita.

Nineteen counties have averaged 61 or more daily cases per 10,000 residents over the last two weeks, and Forsyth in the Triad is the only that included one of the state’s largest cities, The News & Observer reported Saturday.

Avery County in the mountains and Columbus County in the southeast corner of the state saw the highest per capita case counts over the past two weeks with more than 100 daily cases per 10,000 residents.

Meanwhile, Wake averaged 34, Durham averaged 33, Orange 27 and Mecklenburg 40.

The state’s November spike in cases shows few signs of abating, The N&O reports. During the second half of the month, the state reported an average of 3,365 daily coronavirus cases, up from about 2,370 a day in the first two weeks of the month and less than 2,000 daily cases in October.

Charlotte strip club loses permits

A south Charlotte strip club had its permits to serve alcohol suspended Friday after police witnessed huge crowds, lap dancing and no mask wearing at the popular venue, records show.

At least 200 patrons were packed inside Club Onyx at 5300 Old Pineville Road when a state investigator entered the business early on Nov. 1, according to the state order suspending its permits, The Charlotte Observer reported.

“Grossly exceeded capacity limitations,” Special Agent Kelly Kearns wrote in the order.

The night before, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Detective Chad Denton cited club general manager Daniel Newell for operating the club in violation of Gov. Roy Cooper’s COVID-19 executive orders, according to the commission’s order pulling the club’s permits.

Newell told the investigators he considered the club exempt from Cooper’s orders because it serves food.

More people are dying at home

More sick people in the Charlotte area are being treated at home and refusing to go to a hospital for additional care during the pandemic.

MEDIC, Mecklenburg County’s EMS agency, had 6,573 calls between March and August in which patients opted out of going to the hospital, The Charlotte Observer reported. That’s a 25% increase from the same time period last year.

The number of patients found dead in their homes after an ambulance was called rose to 545 during the six-month period — a 35% increase.

Deaths at home jumped 39% from February to March, the largest one-month increase since early 2017.

The coronavirus pandemic is likely a factor, experts say, with some people afraid of contracting COVID-19 in hospitals. Others might mistakenly believe their doctors’ offices are closed.


©2020 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

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