Local, state and federal governments, along with the medical profession, seem to finally be winning the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the state of North Carolina has just released a statistic reminding everyone of the damage that’s already been done by the disease.  In a Tuesday, Feb.9 press release, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced that the number of virus-related deaths in the state had exceeded 10,000.

State health officials called it “a sobering milestone,” and added that, on the same day that the state hit 10,000 deaths, North Carolina also surpassed 800,000 total coronavirus cases since the first case was reported on March 3, 2020.

The key to keeping that number from growing much more, of course, is vaccinations.  North Carolina’s goal is to vaccinate “as many people as quickly and equitably as possible.”

As of February 9, the state had administered more than 1.4 million doses of the vaccine.

Many counties and health providers in the state had a tough first few weeks with vaccine rollouts, but most have been able to work through those issues and have put more efficient vaccination procedures in place.

NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said on Tuesday that every one of the deaths was a tragedy.

“Together we grieve with the family and friends of the North Carolinians who have lost their lives to this terrible pandemic,” she said. “Each one of these numbers represents a daughter or son, a parent or grandparent, a neighbor or friend — people who are deeply loved and who were part of the fabric of our community.”  

She added that the state is still seeing high levels of virus spread across the state and reminded everyone to remain cautious.