RALEIGH — As the cases of COVID-19 continue to increase on a national level, the number of positive cases continues to follow suit within the borders of North Carolina.
COVID-19 positive cases reported for the state has continued its rising trend of recent days, as the number increased to at least 412 cases as of 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24, according to reports from the Raleigh News & Observer.
This number varies from reports provided by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, as the agency reports 297 positive cases, with its reporting process occurring as a single daily update by 11 a.m.
"Some cases reported by county health departments can take 24 to 48 hours before they are included in the number reported by the state," the News & Observer reports. The News & Observer is compiling the numbers of cases announced by counties throughout the day in more of a real-time format.
On a statewide level, NCDHHS reported a total number of 8,438 tests have been conducted for the coronavirus, which were conducted at the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health and did not include tests at university and commercial laboratories.
According to the News & Observer, a little greater than half of the state’s 100 counties have reported confirmed cases of the virus. The latest increase includes a pair of cases reported in Iredell County, bringing its total number of eight, while Randolph, Vance, Richmond, Northampton and Stanly counties were added to the list the previous day, as each county reported their first case of COVID-19, according to the News & Observer.
The counties with the highest total number of cases across the state include Mecklenburg County, with 106 reported cases, Durham County with 71 reported cases and Wake County with 66 reported cases, according to the News & Observer.
Within the region of the High Country, Watauga County has reported two cases of COVID-19, the second of which was reported March 18. Both Ashe and Avery counties have yet to report a positive case of the virus within its borders.
AppHealthCare, which serves Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany counties, reported that it has collected no tests in Ashe County in the past 24 hours and the agency has collected two tests to date, while outside agencies have collected a total of 21 cases to date for the county.
In Watauga County, AppHealthCare reports that it has collected a total of four tests within the previous 24-hour period and 62 tests to date, while outside agencies have reported a total of 91 cases for the county.
Deb Gragg with the Avery County Health Department reported on March 23 the department has conducted 23 tests, with nine coming back negative.
Johns Hopkins University and Medicine reports as of 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24, that a total of 46,450 confirmed cases in the United States, a jump of more than 3,000 cases since the previous evening. The total represents the third-largest total of cases worldwide, trailing only China and Italy. The university reported that there had been a total of 593 deaths across the country to date related to COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning, March 24.
To date, no deaths within the state of North Carolina have been reported according to NCDHHS.