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Coronavirus total tops 60,000 cases in North Carolina

Source: Raleigh News & Observer / Getty

Gov. Roy Cooper is scheduled to hold a press conference with his Coronavirus task force on Tuesday at 3 p.m. to give an update on the state’s handling of the virus. North Carolina waits to see if restrictions will tighten as the Governor’s current executive order is set to expire on Friday at 3 p.m. ET.

A sharp increase in new COVID-19 has hit record levels across the state over the past week. Cooper set limits on indoor gatherings, along with a strict mask mandate over a month ago, but there hasn’t been significant success in suppressing the virus.

Another spike in new cases is expected across the U.S. in the next ten days. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and part of the White House coronavirus task force, says that would represent people who contracted the virus over the Thanksgiving weekend. He also warns that mid-January could be “a really dark time for us.”

According to NCDHHS data, yesterday was the 11th straight day that North Carolina broke a record for coronavirus hospitalizations, reporting 2,240 patients being treated for the virus. New cases are above 6,000 for the third time since the pandemic started in March.

As it stands right now, businesses are operating at a reduced capacity with most restaurant dining rooms shut down entirely. Some Business owners fear that further restrictions could force them to close permanently.

“(Cooper’s) mandates for us have been very frustrating,” Bob Durkin told WBT Pat McCrory Show with Bo Thompson last week. “He obviously doesn’t have somebody in the room who’s in the industry or he knows exactly what he’s doing and it was just pandering for votes.”

North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen continues to urge people to wear masks and use personal hygiene to help slow the spread of the virus. “Always wear a mask when you’re with people you don’t live with, keep your distance from other people and wash your hands often.” She went on CNN Sunday Morning with Dana Bash to detail the state’s plans for vaccine distribution.

Cohen says initial shipments with 85,000 doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine will be stocked at 50-60 hospitals statewide. Those who are at-risk for the virus will be some of the first to be inoculated later this month.

Stay tuned to WBT for the latest on the Coronavirus pandemic.