North Carolina had one of its highest days of reported deaths and hospitalizations since the Covid-19 crisis began, Gov. Roy Cooper said during a news conference Thursday afternoon.
The 33 new deaths bring the state’s total to 827 while there are 708 patients hospitalized across the state. The hospitalization rate has continued to rise throughout the week.
“We are concerned about the number of hospitalizations for Covid-19 continuing to go up,” Cooper said. “That’s why we are in phase two, right now, and not opening everything up. This is why we need to stay in phase two for a while to see how these numbers go.”
Some context: The number of confirmed cases are also going up as the state has increased testing, Cooper said. There are 25,412 confirmed cases in North Carolina.
The Department of Health and Human Services launched a radio and video campaign on Wednesday to share important messages across the state about the virus to populations that make up a “disproportionate number of our state’s lab confirmed cases and deaths compared with their percentage in the population."
The state senate wants to pass legislation to open bars and while he said there will be a time when they can reopen, now is not the time, Cooper said.
“We have to keep the health and safety of North Carolinians as our number one priority,” Cooper said.