Raleigh The number of COVID-19 cases reported in North Carolina and the number of tests recorded jumped the most on Saturday since the state reported them.
The state’s Department of Health and Human Services said 10 percent of the latest tests were positive, higher than in recent weeks. But taking all the tests into account, the overall positive rate has dropped over time, and is now below 7%, according to analysis by News & Observer.
Cases increased by 1,107 on Saturday and tests by 26,385 as much of the state entered its first day full of relaxed restrictions that allow people to get their hair cut in salons and hair salons, to swim in public pools and eat in restaurants.
“This is a notable and worrying increase,” said DHHS secretary Mandy Cohen in a press release. “As we head for a vacation weekend, please practice the three W’s – wear a face covering, hang six feet apart and wash your hands frequently. “
DHHS reported a total of 22,725 cases on Saturday. 737 deaths have been reported, up nine from Friday. As of Saturday, 589 people were hospitalized, 21 more than Friday.
26,385 additional tests have been reported since Friday, several times more than the state usually reports per day.
Despite the significant jump in cases, their growth rate has been slowing for weeks. It now takes just over three weeks to double. Meanwhile, the number of tests currently doubles every 17 days.
17 hours. North Carolina moved into phase two of its reopening plan on Friday, which allowed restaurants, salons, hair salons and pools to open at half their capacity and other restrictions.
Breweries, wineries and distilleries have also been allowed to open in accordance with guidelines issued by the state on Friday.
Employees of personal care businesses, such as hair salons and hair salons, must wear face covers, Cohen said Friday. Customers are strongly encouraged to wear face covers.
Some hair salons opened Friday and Saturday, some prepared for opening next week, while others remained closed.
As of Saturday morning, Right Cut Barbershop owner Jesse Padillo had served a dozen customers since being allowed to open his Cary store. Padillo hung shower curtains between the nine barbers who worked on Saturday when they had been cutting for a long time.
“This kid had so much hair, it normally takes me 20 minutes to cut it, and today it took me 45,” said Padilla. “People seem scary. “
While most counties are easing restrictions, Durham is delaying openings for these businesses until June 1.
Durham ranked third among the 100 counties in the state for confirmed cases of coronavirus.
For the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic, state farmers began euthanizing 1.5 million chickens due to slowdowns associated with coronaviruses in meat processing plants, said the Deputy Commissioner agriculture, Joe Reardon, at News & Observer.
About a third of the chickens have already been killed, said Reardon.
Journalists Josh Shaffer and Tammy Grubb contributed to this report.