Watch CBSN Live

North Carolina implements county alert system amid rise in COVID-19 cases

North Carolina creates COVID alert system
North Carolina creates COVID alert system 11:38

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper on Tuesday said coronavirus infection rates in his state remain high and health officials are reporting a positivity rate of 8.6%. On Tuesday, the state reported nearly 3,300 new virus cases.

The governor said health officials saw the highest rate of COVID infections over the weekend. "These are numbers we cannot ignore," he said.

Cooper also said the state will be implementing a county alert system with three colored tiers that reflect specific COVID-19 metrics. The alert system will show residents which regions have the highest level of community spread and will provide instructions on how people can help bring down infection rates. Officials said the alert system will allow people to see state health data in a more visual way.

The alert system will designate a red, orange or yellow color to each county that reflects metrics such as case rate, percent positive and hospital impact. Cooper said North Carolina is experiencing an increase of COVID-19 infections, but not necessarily a surge.

Cooper said he hopes residents will follow health department recommendations to social distance, avoid large gatherings and wear face masks in public. More than 317,400 people have contracted the virus since March and at least 4,852 people have died, according to state data.

More than 11 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the U.S. — with the most recent million coming in less than a week — as many Americans prepare to observe a Thanksgiving holiday marked by the pandemic. Meanwhile, Moderna on Monday said that its coronavirus vaccine is 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data from the company's ongoing study. A week ago, competitor Pfizer announced its own COVID-19 vaccine appeared more than 90% effective — news that puts both companies on track to seek permission within weeks for emergency use in the U.S.

Pediatrician on keeping schools open 08:25
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue