Special to Iredell Free News

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is reporting the state’s highest one-day number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases with 2,099 new cases reported.

Hospitalizations are also at a record high with 951 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

“We are seeing significant spread of the virus and it is very concerning,” said NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen. “Today we have the highest reported day of new cases and hospitalizations – and that should be a warning to us all as we go into this holiday weekend. We don’t get a holiday from COVID-19. We all need to wear a face covering, avoid crowds and wash our hands often.”

There have now been 70,241 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina. Some 1,392 deaths in the state have been attributed to the novel coronavirus.

To slow the spread of COVID-19 everyone must practice the 3 Ws: wearing a face covering over your nose and mouth, waiting six feet apart and washing your hands often.

Of Friday’s newly reported cases, 11 percent were positive among labs that report both negative and positive tests into the state electronic reporting system – the highest percentage North Carolina has seen since late April, when the state was doing more targeted testing.

NCDHHS is responding to the pandemic on multiple fronts, including surging testing and contact tracing resources in communities and populations that have been hardest hit by COVID-19.

Anyone with symptoms or anyone who thinks they have been exposed to COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms, should be tested for COVID-19.

If you think you may need to be tested and would like to find a nearby testing place, go to Check My Symptoms and Find My Testing Place.

To find short-term testing events in your community, visit the Pop-Up Testing Sites webpage.

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