New COVID Milestones 'Cause For Concern' In North Carolina
Two recent COVID-19 milestones are being described by North Carolina state officials as causes for concern. Wednesday marked the highest number of hospitalizations and the second-highest number of new cases.
Critical decisions on when to open schools and businesses are still days or weeks away. At a press briefing, Governor Cooper and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen stuck to the current situation on the ground: more than 2,000 new cases reported on Wednesday, hospital and ICU bed capacities between 75-80%, and wait times of up to one week for test results.
Cohen says a new national surge in testing means local hospitals are having to contract with commercial labs already stretched beyond capacity by demand from around the country.
"For example, we work closely with Atrium, with WakeMed, with others who are having supply issues in a myriad of things," says Cohen. "It’s like all of the things. So, you fix one and then another hole develops. You make sure you have enough pipettes and then you don’t have enough chemical reagents. It’s actually a lot of the supply chain is just really tight."
Cohen says that the state continues to conduct roughly 20,000 tests per day. She says federal action is needed to relieve national shortages in critical testing supplies.