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DATA: North Carolina – The Skinny – April 23

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As discussed on this afternoon’s call, Governor Cooper released his three-phase plan to remove the state’s stay-at-home order. The Associated Press has a good rundown of what the timeline of the phases looks like.

Latest surveillance from NCDHHS, shows there has been a decrease in people seeking care in emergency rooms across the state, however ER visits for COVID-like illnesses are higher than normal for this time of the year. The percentage of people who went to the ER for COVID-like illnesses and had to stay in the hospital went up, which suggests that mild cases are either getting care outside of emergency departments or not seeking medical care at all.

There were no new flu deaths last week, according to NCDHHS.

Of those 177 deaths, the majority of them are in individuals 65+ (much like COVID-19).

Here are the latest charts for flu-related and COVID-related deaths.

By the Numbers:

  • 7,765 known cases in NC (as of 2:31 p.m.)
  • 7,608 positive cases confirmed by NCDHHS
  • 856,209 cases in the U.S. (as of 2:31 p.m.)
  • 96,185 completed tests in North Carolina
  • 486 people currently hospitalized due to COVID-19
  • 275 deaths in North Carolina
  • 47,272 deaths in the U.S. (as of 2:31 p.m.)
  • 93 counties in NC with cases

 Latest Developments

Quick Hits

  • The U.S. House is set to vote on the latest $484 billion stimulus bill tonight.
  • Individuals who closed old bank accounts or used tax-preparation services are still having trouble figuring out when their stimulus checks will arrive.
    • From The Wall Street Journal: “Americans with direct-deposit information on file at the IRS got their money first. More than 80 million deposits totaling $147 billion hit bank accounts last week, though Treasury Department data indicate that more than $2.6 billion has been returned since, likely because payments bounced back when they hit incorrect or closed accounts. Tax filers who don’t have direct-deposit information at the IRS will get checks mailed to them. The first batch of more than five million checks has been going out already, according to the Treasury.
  • The Washington Postfound that there is a national backlog of “at least 3 million unpaid jobless claims.”
    • “The figure reflects claims made by April 4. The true backlog is probably far greater, following the release of new federal data Thursday showing an additional 4 million people who filed for unemployment last week. Meanwhile, an untold number of self-employed Americans still can’t even apply for aid. The $2 trillion aid package adopted by Congress last month extended jobless benefits to these laborers, a broad category that includes freelancers, Uber and Lyft drivers and Grubhub deliverers. But only 10 states are paying this support, according to the Labor Department, leaving millions of families in financial limbo.”
    • In North Carolina, of the 719,452 unemployment claims (617,422 related to COVID) filed since March 15, only 281,050 have received paid benefits

Today’s Press Conference

*Extending Stay at Home Order until at least May 8, 2020*

________________________________________________________________

*Dr. Mandy Cohen – NCDHHS – Slideshow Information*

  1. Curve is flattening.
  2. Slowed rate of acceleration, taking longer for cases to double.
  3. Main topics are TESTING, TRACING, & TRENDS

TRENDS – Our Metrics

We will look at the following combination of metrics to inform decisions to ease restrictions:

  • COVID – like syndromic cases over 14 days.
  • Lab confirmed cases over 14 days.
  • Positive tests as a percentage of total tests over 14 days.
  • Hospitalization over 14 days.

TESTING & TRACING – Capacity

Ensuring that we continue to identify who has COVID-19 and who has been exposed, while keeping our frontline workers safe.

  • Tests completed per day
  • Ability to conduct widespread tracing
  • Supply of personal protective equipment (PPE)

TRENDS

Trajectory of COVID-like syndromic cases.

  • The percent of visits to the ER for COVID-like illness is declining.

Trajectory of Cases

  • New cases in NC are increasing but more slowly.

Trajectory % of Tests are Positive

  • The trajectory of positive tests as a percentage of total tests over 14 days is not declining.
  • Based on a 7 day average
  • As we test more, more we will find.

Trajectory of Hospitalization

  • Been leveling
  • Daily count of number of people in Hospital with COVID-19 right now. If they are there for multiple days they are counted each day. It is not just new people.

TESTING & TRACING – Capacity

Testing

  • Increase daily testing from 2,500 – 3,000 to 7,000 people per day

Workforce to Conduct Contact Testing

  • Increase from 250 tracers to 500 tracers. Deploy digital tracing technology.

Availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Adequate supplies to fill requests for at least 30 days, little low on gowns and N95 Masks.

______________________________________________________________________________

*Governor Cooper’s 3 Phases to Reopen Plan*

PHASE ONE 

  • Stay At Home order remains in place, people can leave home for some commercial activities.
  • Those retailers and services will need to implement social distancing, cleaning and over protocols.
  • Gatherings limited to no more than 10.
  • Parks can be open subject to gathering limits.
  • Face coverings recommended in public.
  • Restrictions remain in place for nursing homes and other congregate living facilities.
  • Encourage continued teleworking

PHASE TWO (AT LEAST 2-3 WEEKS AFTER PHASE ONE)

  • Lift Stay At Home order. Encourage vulnerable to stay home
  • Allow limited opening of churches, entertainment venues, restaurants, bars, and other businesses that can follow strict safety protocols (reduced capacity)
  • Increase number of people allowed at gatherings
  • Open public playgrounds
  • Continue restrictions remain in place for nursing homes and other congregate living facilities.

PHASE THREE (AT LEAST 4-6 WEEKS AFTER PHASE TWO)

  • Lessen restrictions for vulnerable with encouragement to physically distance.
  • Allow increased capacities at churches, entertainment venues, restaurants, bars, and other businesses.
  • Further increase number of people allowed at gatherings
  • Continue restrictions remain in place for nursing homes and other congregate living facilities.

______________________________________________________________________________

*Education Announcement to come tomorrow*

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