RALEIGH — At least 729 people in North Carolina have tested positive for COVID-19, the Raleigh News & Observer reported as of 11 p.m. on Thursday, March 26.
In its daily case count update, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 636 residents of North Carolina had tested positive for COVID-19 as of 10:15 a.m. Thursday, March 26.
DHHS reported that the virus has led to the death of one North Carolina resident. However, Gov. Roy Cooper announced on March 25 that two COVID-19-related deaths have occurred in the state, including a Virginia resident who had traveled to N.C.
The numbers reported by the newspaper, which is compiling the numbers of cases announced by counties throughout the day, vary from the daily reports provided by N.C. DHHS.
Nationwide, Johns Hopkins University and Medicine reported 85,653 COVID-19 cases in the U.S. as of 11 p.m. March 26, with 1,290 deaths related to the virus and 713 people reported to have recovered.
As of March 26, the state reported that 12,910 tests had been conducted by the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health and reporting hospital and commercial laboratories.
AppHealthCare, the public health department serving Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany counties, reported the fourth positive test result in Watauga County on March 26. The person had travel history and has been in isolation since being tested, the department said, adding that local public health staff have identified the person's close contacts, who have been in quarantine.
No positive test results have been reported in Ashe and Avery counties.
"Though our local numbers are low compared to some other counties in our state, we also know that there is evidence of community transmission in North Carolina," said Jennifer Greene, AppHealthCare health director, on March 25.
AppHealthCare reported that it had collected 63 tests in Watauga County as of March 26, while outside agencies had reported a total of 126 tests in the county. In Ashe County, the health department had collected four tests by March 26, while outside agencies had collected a total of 25 tests to date for the county. The Toe River Health District reported on March 26 the department had conducted 37 tests in Avery County, with 23 coming back negative and 14 pending.
AppHealthCare announced on March 24 that it was shifting from "broad based testing" to testing those who have urgent medical needs and demands for care.
"Based on recommendations issued by the N.C. Department of Health & Human Services, most people do not need testing for COVID-19," AppHealthCare stated. "When you leave your home to get tested, you could expose yourself to COVID-19 if you do not already have it. If you do have COVID-19, you can give it to someone else, including people who are high risk. If you are sick and unsure if you should get tested, please call your health care provider."