Gov. Cooper: Phase 2 Will Only Start If Data And Indicators Remain Stable

RALEIGH, N.C. (News Release) — Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen today shared an update on North Carolina’s key COVID-19 indicators. The data and trends show that North Carolina remains stable nearly one week into Phase 1.

“Our COVID-19 decisions are guided by the data and the science,” said Cooper. “We will use the time in this phase to keep a careful eye on the data and the indicators before we are ready to announce the start of Phase 2. North Carolinians should continue to stay home if they can and take precautions to keep themselves safe.”

“Continued stability in these trends is a real positive for our state. While we remain on a good path for the 14-day trends we need to see to move to Phase 2, our progress as a state is still dependent on our individual actions,” said Dr. Cohen. “We need to continue to protect our loved ones and our neighbors. If you leave home, practice three Ws – wear, wait and wash.”

Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen also announced that DHHS now has a list of testing locations on the DHHS website. The list includes more than 200 sample collection sites in 54 counties, with more being added as they are verified. The list is comprised of health care providers, pharmacies and retail locations, local health departments and others that are providing testing for COVID-19. Some of the sites that are federally funded do not cost anything for the individual being tested. Doctors and clinicians may also provide testing at their offices.

Based on the metrics laid out last month by Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen, officials need to continue watching the trends before announcing a shift into Phase 2.

Secretary Cohen reported North Carolina remains stable on the following key metrics:

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is decreasing.

Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases is slightly increasing.

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive has been decreasing and is starting to level.

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is level.

In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:

Laboratory Testing

  • North Carolina has doubled the daily testing rate from approximately 2,500-3,000 to more than 6,000

Tracing Capability

  • The Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative has already hired close to 100 new contact tracers adding to the 250 already working at our local health departments.

Personal Protective Equipment 

  • Supply chains continue to improve with the exception of gowns.

The Phase 1 executive Order remains in effect until 5 pm on Friday, May 22.

However, the end of this Order does not necessarily mean the state will move to Phase 2. Phase 2 will only start if data and indicators remain stable.

Read a copy of today’s graphs and slides.