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DATA: North Carolina – The Skinny – May 15

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The NCDHHS released new guidance for who should be tested for COVID-19. According to a news release, the guidance “recommends clinicians ensure the following populations have access to testing, regardless of symptoms:”

  • Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19
  • Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms
  • Persons who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farmworker camp)
  • Persons who are at high risk of severe illness (e.g., people over 65 years of age, people of any age with underlying health conditions)
  • Persons who come from historically marginalized populations
  • Health care workers or first responders (e.g., EMS, law enforcement, fire department, military)
  • Front-line and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, etc.) in settings where social distancing is challenging to maintain

Related: Here’s the list of testing sites across the state.

By the Numbers:

  • 17,227 known cases in N.C. (as of 5:07 p.m.)
  • 17,129 positive cases confirmed by NCDHHS
  • 1,439,231 cases in the U.S. (as of 5:07 p.m.)
  • 231,547 completed tests in North Carolina
  • 10,720,185 completed tests in the U.S.
  • 492 people currently hospitalized due to COVID-19
  • 661 deaths in North Carolina
  • 87,184 deaths in the U.S. (as of 5:07 p.m.)
  • 99 counties in N.C. with cases

Latest Developments

  • Cape Fear Valley Health announced as soon as next week it’ll begin to use remdesivir, an antiviral drug recently approved for emergency use in adults and children with severe infections, to treat patients that meet certain criteria. Early studies have shown it helps some patients recover from COVID-19  faster.

 Quick Hits

  • Retail spending and factory outputs were down dramatically due to COVID-19. The Wall Street Journal noted the declines were “at the fastest pace in decades.”
    • “Retail sales, a measure of purchases at stores, at restaurants and online, fell in April by a seasonally adjusted 16.4% from a month earlier, the biggest drop since record-keeping began in the early 1990s, the Commerce Department said Friday. The Federal Reserve separately said manufacturing output fell by 13.7% in April, its largest monthly decline in records dating to 1919.”
  • Germany entered a recession, but it’s expected to fare better than its neighboring countries.
    • “Germany’s gross domestic product shrank by 8.6% in the first quarter on an annualized basis. Since fourth-quarter figures were revised to show a small contraction, Friday’s data indicates that Germany is now in recession.”
  • Moncef Slaoui, the former chairman of vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline, who is heading the White House’s “Operation Warp Speed” program to develop a COVID-19 vaccine said, “mass-producing a successful vaccine by January 2021 is a ‘credible objective.’”
  • The CDC released reopening checklists for businesses and schools today. The new guidance encourages washing hands and increasing cleaning.

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