Special to Iredell Free News

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday reported the state’s highest one-day increase of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases to date with 2,684 new cases reported. The department is also reporting the second highest number of hospitalizations in the past 30 days, with 1,148 reported.

There have been a total of 243,725 laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina.

Some 1,140 people are currently hospitalized across the state, and 3,929 deaths in North Carolina have been attributed to the novel coronavirus.

As the numbers continue to move in the wrong direction on this key metric, it is more important than ever that all North Carolinians use the tools we have to slow the spread of the virus: wearing a face covering over your nose and mouth, waiting at least 6 feet from others and washing your hands often.

Masks have been proven to slow the spread of COVID-19, especially if worn correctly and collectively. Whatever your reason, get behind the mask.

NCDHHS also encourages people download and use SlowCOVIDNC, the official exposure notification app for North Carolina. SlowCOVIDNC alerts users when they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive. The app relies on users to anonymously submit their positive result to notify others.

The more people who download and use SlowCOVIDNC, the more we can slow the spread.

The department has issued guidance for fall-related events to help organizers and consumers minimize the risk for COVID-19 transmission. Even in small groups of close friends or extended family, it is critical that all North Carolinians wear a face covering whenever they are in close contact with anyone outside their immediate household.

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