RALEIGH — Four people with COVID-19 have died in North Carolina as of March 26, according to the Raleigh News & Observer, including residents from Cabarrus, Harnett and Johnston counties and a Virginia resident traveling in the state.
The newspaper reported that 864 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the virus as of 6 p.m. on Friday, March 27.
In its daily case count update, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 763 residents of North Carolina had tested positive for COVID-19 as of 11:40 a.m. Friday, March 27.
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.
DHHS has acknowledged that case counts don’t give a full picture of how widespread COVID-19 is in the state, the newspaper reported. Not all patients with the illness are tested, and the county and state health departments said this week they are prioritizing people with urgent medical needs and health care workers for testing.
"Zack Moore, the state’s epidemiologist, has said the gap between the counts and reality will only grow as the virus becomes more widespread," the newspaper reported
Nationwide, Johns Hopkins University and Medicine reported 100,717 COVID-19 cases in the U.S. as of 6 p.m. March 27, with 1,544 deaths related to the virus and 862 people reported to have recovered.
As of March 27, N.C. DHHS reported that 15,136 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 fifth positive test result in Watauga County on March 27. 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.
AppHealthCare reported that it had collected 67 tests in Watauga County as of March 27, while outside agencies had reported a total of 140 tests in the county. In Ashe County, the health department had collected four tests by March 27, 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.