An increase in COVID-19 cases is dominating the news in North Carolina and across the country.
While the number of people who test positive is hitting daily records and the number of people who have tested positive since March is posted by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) each day, the number of active cases of COVID-19 in the state is not posted at all on the NCDHHS Dashboard, which is designed to provide information on COVID-19 to the public.
However, every Monday the NCDHHS posts the number of people who have tested positive and are presumed to have recovered. By doing the math, the number of current active cases in the state can be determined. The calculations are done on the PCR test results and do not include the antigen test results.
The number of people, according to the NCDHHS, who have tested positive in the state is 299,061 and the number NCDHHS reports have recovered is 276,132, and the number of deaths attributed by NCDHHS to COVID-19 since March is 4,704, which means the number of people in North Carolina who currently have active cases of COVID-19 is 18,225 in a state with a population of 10.5 million.
This has increased from Oct. 27 when the same mathematical calculations showed that 16,218 people in the state had current active cases of COVID-19.
One reason more people are testing positive is that more people are being tested. For example, on Oct. 27, according to the NCDHHS, 21,588 people were tested and 2,144 tested positive, while on Nov. 14, when 37,267 people were tested, 3,885 tested positive. It is a notable increase in the number of positive test results, but also a notable increase in the number of people tested.
The majority of deaths, 58 percent, remains in the over-75 age group. In the under-18 category there has still only been one death in the entire state during the eight months of the pandemic, and the total number of deaths of those under 25 remains at five. The total number of deaths in the state for those under the age of 50 is 194.
The number of deaths in the over-75 age group is 2,811.
The fatality rates by age do not distinguish between the PCR test and the antigen test, so the assumption is the death totals include the test results of both.