Forsyth County reached its highest daily COVID-19 case count in a month with 78 on Thursday, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported.
The last time the daily case count was higher was 88 reported on March 6.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases totaled more than 2,000 statewide for the second time in a week
DHHS reported 2,087 cases after 1,380 were reported Wednesday and 870 on Tuesday.
Since the pandemic began, North Carolina has recorded 926,897 cases.
There were 12 additional deaths reported statewide Thursday for a total of 12,224. There were no additional deaths in Forsyth with the total remaining at 363.
DHHS lists COVID-19 cases and deaths on the day they are confirmed by medical providers and public health officials so individuals may have been infected or have died days before their cases were counted.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 related hospitalizations remained above 1,000 for the second consecutive day at 1,004. The count is down 21 from Wednesday.
The last time statewide hospitalizations were higher was 1,028 on March 13, while they were as low as 859 on March 27. The daily peak for the pandemic is 3,990 on Jan. 14.
The 17-county Triad region reported 206 hospitalized COVID-19 patients Thursday, down six from Wednesday.
The increase in COVID-19 metrics comes about five weeks after the statewide stay-at-home curfew ended Feb. 26.
DHHS lists a statewide positive test rate of 5.1% based on 22,405 tests performed Tuesday. The rate had dropped to 3.4% on March 9 — the lowest since May.
Dr. Mandy Cohen, the state’s health secretary, has said a statewide positive test rate of 5% or lower marks a decrease in community spread of COVID-19.
“I think we’re in as good a shape as we could be right now,” Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday in referencing the safety, efficacy and availability of COVID-19 vaccine and the number of North Carolinians already vaccinated.
“Although North Carolina remains in a stable position, we cannot let our guard down,” Cooper said.
“We would not have eased restrictions if we didn’t think it was time.”
There have been 33,723 cases since the onset of the pandemic.
Forsyth’s new daily case counts have remained below 100 for 38 consecutive days.
For Forsyth, the positive test rate was 3.3% of 1,200 tests performed Tuesday.
The statewide county alert system for COVID-19 community spread has been expanded from three to five tiers that now include a light yellow for moderate impact and green for low impact.
The other tiers of red (critical impact), orange (substantial impact) and yellow (significant impact) remain.
Forsyth was shifted from yellow to light yellow.
The system uses COVID-19 case rates, the percent of tests that are positive, and hospital impact within the county to categorize counties.
As of noon Thursday, at least 174,042 vaccinations had been administered in Forsyth, with 98,825 adults receiving the first dose, or about 25.9% of county residents, and 75,217 receiving both doses, or 19.7% of the county’s population.
Statewide, 5.52 million doses of vaccine have been administered in North Carolina — about 4.62 million by medical providers and 904,770 through the federal pharmacy program that includes vaccinations in stores and in long-term care centers.
DHHS says the numbers of first and second doses provided are at 3.26 million and 2.09 million, respectively, as of Thursday.
There have been 166,842 single doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine provided.
About 39.5% of the statewide adult population has received at least one dose, and 27.5% both doses.
For those ages 65 and older, 73.4% have received at least one dose and 66.6% are considered fully vaccinated.
Gov. Roy Cooper and state Democratic and Republican legislative leaders have released a public service announcement urging North Carolinians to get COVID vaccines now that all adults are eligible for vaccinations.
Joining Cooper were Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, House speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, Senate minority leader Dan Blue, D-Wake, and House minority leader Robert Reives, D-Durham.
Berger says getting vaccinated “allows us to get back to traveling, attending sporting events, and other everyday activities we’ve missed over the past year.”
“I urge those that are hesitant to get the vaccine to talk to their doctor and find out more about its effectiveness.”
Blue says “I took my shot not just to protect myself; I did it to protect my family, my colleagues and neighbors. We each need to do our part to keep each other safe, and to help build a healthier North Carolina.”