RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - Columbus and Bladen counties were among the counties highlighted in the state’s new COVID-19 alert system.
The county alert system, unveiled by Gov. Roy Cooper in a news conference Tuesday, placed the state’s 100 counties in one of three tiers based on community spread:
Yellow: Significant Community Spread
Orange: Substantial Community Spread
Red: Critical Community Spread
Columbus County was one of 10 counties listed in red while Bladen County was one of 43 in orange.
“By pinpointing counties with high virus transmission and asking people in those counties to work with us and do more right now to slow viral spread, we can succeed," Cooper said. "It can help bring down case rates, keep their communities safer, save lives and keep their hospital systems working.”
To be assigned to the red or orange tier, a county must meet the threshold for case rate for that particular tier AND the threshold for either percent positive OR hospital impact.
- Case Rate: The number of new cases in 14 days per 100,000 people
- Percent Positive: The percent of tests that are positive over 14 days
- Hospital Impact: A composite score based on the impact that COVID-19 has had on hospitals including percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, COVID-19 related visits to the Emergency Department, staffed open hospital beds, and critical staffing shortages over 14 days
“It’s going to take all of us working together to avoid tightening restrictions like so many states are now doing,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen. “The COVID-19 County Alert System gives North Carolinians an easy way to see how their county is doing and know what they can do protect their family and neighbors and slow the spread of this virus.”
The report is expected to updated monthly.
The state’s first COVID-19 County Alert System report can be found below:
“Right now -- these are strong recommendations," said Cooper. "However, if our metrics keep moving in the wrong direction, the state could impose additional orders -- either at the local or statewide level. As numbers worsen statewide and across the country, we need North Carolinians to treat this virus as deadly as it is.”