Gov. Roy Cooper began the press conference on Monday, Nov. 23 with a statement that is misleading.

Cooper talks constantly about making decisions based on science, facts and data, but the facts he reported are inaccurate.

Talking about COVID-19, Cooper said, “As of today we have 339,194 cases.”

That is not even close to current number of COVID-19 cases in the state according to the numbers reported by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) on Monday.

What is true is that since March in North Carolina 339,194 people have tested positive for COVID-19. According to the NCDHHS, of those 339,194 positive test results, 293,555 are presumed to have recovered plus another 5,039 people have died, which means according to the data and facts supplied by the NCDHHS, about 40,600 people in the state have active cases of COVID-19.

Even if the NCDHHS is not entirely accurate in its estimate of the number of people who have recovered, the total number of people in the state that have active cases of COVID-19 is not anywhere close to 339,194. That number includes everyone who tested positive in March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November.

It is also worth noting that his was not said in answer to a question where Cooper may have misspoken, but was in his prepared remarks.

One reason given for the new tighter restrictions that Cooper announced was that the hospitalizations have increased at an alarming rate, but what Director of NCDHHS Mandy Cohen mentioned in her remarks was that on Nov. 13, NCDHHS started listing the hospitalizations numbers based on different criteria, which caused the hospitalization rate to take a big jump.

Cohen said that the hospitalization number would be increasing anyway, but why not show the public the numbers using the same metric the NCDHHS has been using, so that people can make their own judgment?

For those who go to the NCDHHS Dashboard for information, the chart on hospitalizations is misleading because it has no notation that the big jump on Nov. 13 was caused, not by an increase in hospitalizations, but because NCDHHS started using different criteria.