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RALEIGH — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Carolina rose to 17,494 as of 9:15 Friday, May 15, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

The newspaper reports that 667 people in the state have died with the virus. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 492 people statewide were hospitalized with the virus as of 11 a.m. May 15.

The estimate of people who have recovered from the virus is 9,115; the estimate is being provided once per week, on Mondays, by NCDHHS. NCDHHS estimates a median time to recovery of 14 days from the date of specimen collection for non-fatal COVID-19 cases who were not hospitalized, or if hospitalization status is unknown. The estimated median recovery time is 28 days from the date of specimen collection for hospitalized non-fatal COVID-19 cases.

As of 9:15 p.m. May 15, 1,442,657 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the U.S., while 87,530 people have died with the virus and 250,747 are estimated to have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.

Nine Watauga County residents have tested positive for the virus in addition to one traveler in the county and 16 construction workers at an App State campus project who are residents of other counties.

Cases continue to increase in neighboring counties. Ashe County's case count has risen to 25, according to AppHealthCare. Wilkes County has 287 confirmed cases and one COVID-19-related death, according to the News & Observer. Caldwell County has reported 76 cases as of May 15 and two COVID-19-related deaths, according to the county.

In Tennessee, Johnson County has reported 15 cases and Carter County has reported 19, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

Avery County is the lone N.C. county to have no lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date.

As of May 15, AppHealthCare had collected a total of 138 tests, and outside agencies had collected 327 tests in Watauga County to date. The health department has started providing a count of individuals actively being monitored for COVID-19. As of May 15, the department was monitoring six people in Alleghany County, 24 people in Ashe County, six people in Watauga County and five people residing in other counties.

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