North Carolina Sees Biggest Single-Day Rise in Coronavirus Cases Since Pandemic Began

North Carolina reported its biggest single-day rise in new coronavirus cases Friday since the pandemic began.

The state reported 1,768 new confirmed cases--nearly 400 more than the previous record of 1,370 on June 6, and following protests in response to the death of George Floyd.

"Today is North Carolina's highest day of new cases since the pandemic started, and it's also the highest day of testing that we have had, with over 21,000 tests reported," Governor Roy Cooper stated at a coronavirus press conference. "But the high number of new cases is not just related to more testing. These numbers show the disease is spreading, and that more people need hospital care.

Cooper announced that North Carolina has now reported 41,249 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, and 1,092 deaths attributed to COVID-19, specifically indicating his alarm for the new record high in cases. There are also 760 people currently hospitalized with the novel coronavirus.

"Our concern is growing about the increase in cases and hospitalizations...While our hospitals still have capacity, we know this can change quickly. So we are working with hospitals and tracking hospitalizations and [intensive care unit] beds closely," the governor said.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, the head of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, said at the press conference that she is "concerned" by the trend of COVID-19 in the state, as the percentage of positive test results hit 10 percent. Cohen called on residents to continue to wear face coverings and wash their hands frequently.

"These easy actions have huge impact, but each person needs to do them for us all to benefit, and do them consistently every day, every time," Cohen said, adding that anyone who attended a mass gathering or a protest should get tested.

Cooper told residents that state continues to be on a safer-at-home recommendation, even though the state is in its third week of Phase 2 in its reopening plan. Under Phase 2, residents have been able to dine in restaurants, with limits on occupancies put in place, as well as allow social gatherings with up to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Swimming pools are also allow to open at 50 percent capacity.

"Just because we can leave home doesn't mean we always should," Cooper said, adding that he was thankful for businesses who were taking steps to keep their facilities clean.

"This increase in cases doesn't mean we have made a decision about going into phase 2.5 or 3. Insisting on the strategies that reduce transmission...are the things that we want you to do so that we can make these decisions in a positive way," the governor said.

Phase 2 of the state's reopening plan concludes on June 26, unless changes are made by the governor.

North Carolina Protest
JUNE 2, 2020 - Protesters march during a rally in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo by LOGAN CYRUS/AFP via Getty Images) Logan Cyrus/Getty