Fewer than 18,000 people out of 10.5 million in North Carolina currently have confirmed cases of COVID-19 according to figures from the North Carolina Department Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).

Although the NCDHHS updates figures for new cases, deaths, testing and hospitalization daily, it only releases the number of people presumed to have recovered on Mondays.

This week the NCDHHS reports that of the 156,530 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 136,630 have recovered, which would leave 19,766 active cases.

But the NCDHHS also reports that 2,535 people have died, which reduces the number of active cases to 17,231. This number has been trending down since July 20.

To report that there are 17,231 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state has a far different impact than the daily report that there are more than 150,000 cases in the state. One has to ask why the state report doesn’t include the number of active cases every day, instead of reporting the number of people who have tested positive in the state since March.

The total number of cases is cumulative. The very first positive test for COVID-19 back on March 3 is on the list along with every positive test result since then.

The number of new cases reported each day has been trending down since July 19 and reached a new low on Aug. 17 when 564 new positive test results were reported. There were 1,283 new positive test results reported on Monday, Aug. 24.

The percent of positive test results has been below 8 percent since July 23. It was 6.6 percent on Aug. 22 and 7.3 percent on Aug. 23.

Hospitalizations are also trending down with 898 people hospitalized on Aug. 22 and 948 on Aug. 23. Hospitalizations have been trending down all month.

The statistics for fatalities are fairly consistent with 80 percent of the deaths in the over-65 age group, and according to the NCDHHS figures 21 percent in the 25-to-64 age group.

Although the percentage listed by the NCDHHS for deaths of those under 25 is 0 percent, actually in the 18-to-24 category there have been three deaths attributed to COVID-19 since March, and in the 0-to-17 age group there has been one death, which was reported on June 1.