The deadly coronavirus took a while to get from China to North Carolina, but it’s now crystal clear that any hope the state had of escaping the dramatic effects of the pandemic is gone. At the end of the day on Friday, March 27, the running online counter provided by the NC Department of Health and Human Services reported that the state had 763 confirmed cases and three deaths.

There’s no question that both of those numbers will grow; the only question is by how much and for how long.

Guilford County and central North Carolina had high temperatures of right at 80 degrees on Friday – with temperatures expected to climb to the mid-80’s on the weekend – and, though everyone hopes the coronavirus will spread slower in warmer weather, so far warming temperatures haven’t offered any relief.

NC Governor Roy Cooper announced the first known case of the virus in this state at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3. That was a North Carolina resident from Wake County who had traveled to the State of Washington and was exposed to the virus at a long-term care facility where there was a coronavirus outbreak.

On Tuesday, March 17, Guilford County officials announced that the first case of the coronavirus had been found in the county. By the end of the day on March 27, Guilford County had 31 confirmed cases.

The new number of cases in North Carolina – 763 – is the result of 15,136 tests that have been administered throughout the state. That number reflects testing completed by the NC State Laboratory of Public Health as well as tests from reporting hospital and commercial laboratories. Some labs haven’t reported the number of tests to state health officials, but all labs are required to report any positive cases – so the state should have fairly accurate statistics on the positives.

So far, of the state’s 763 known cases, 77 have been hospitalized.

In North Carolina, only about 1 percent of the cases found have affected people 17 years old and younger; 13 percent have occurred in those between the ages of 18 and 24; 47 percent have fallen between the ages of 25 and 49; 24 percent have occurred in the 50-to 64 age range, and 14 percent of the cases have been in those 65 or older.