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ReOpen NC protest in Raleigh

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North Carolina continued to see an increase of Coronavirus cases over the weekend. A four-day span with a total of 22,495 new cases represents one of the worst averages during this pandemic with 5,623 per day.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of another spike, top public health officials have yet to commit to any changes with their approach on containing the virus. But with the state’s existing COVID-19 restrictions expiring this week, Gov. Roy Cooper said “All of our options are on the table to tighten things down,” during a CNN interview last week. One of those options might be a stay-at-home order similar to the one issued earlier this year. A decision that caused controversy with some, but did yield success in keeping case levels from rising dramatically.

Although, NC officials seem to be reluctant to the idea of another widespread shutdown. “If we were all to follow the things that are currently in place right now, I don’t think we needed to do more,” said Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, during a Thursday news conference. “But we know that that is hard. We know that we are asking a lot of folks, and it may be possible that we need to go backwards.”

A lot to consider for Cooper, Cohen and others as we move into the heart of the holiday season. The number of hospitalizations in the state are at an all-time high with more than 2,200 people being treated for COVID-19. We’ve also had some of the deadliest days since the start of the pandemic with 82 deaths reported last Wednesday.

“Our actions right now are life or death,” Cooper said on Twitter after a record 6,018 new cases were reported Saturday. A record that was shattered merely hours later with 6,438 new cases being reported on Sunday.

North Carolina awaits an initial wave of nearly 85,000 Pfizer vaccine doses, which officials say is likely to arrive as early as next week.