North Carolina COVID-19 Dashboard North Carolina has relied on science, timely data, and key metrics to guide its pandemic response. Because no one metric captures everything, we use a combination of metrics to guide our approach. The most important of these are below. As trends rise and fall, you can choose to add layers of protection to mitigate your risk. Get tips on layering protection. Update: This dashboard’s new format launched on March 23, 2022 and will be updated every Wednesday. More about the new design. For more information on the data shown here and why they’re important, see "These Measures and Why They Were Chosen," below. All COVID-19 Dashboards Summary Vaccinations Respiratory Virus Surveillance Cases and Deaths Hospitalizations Outbreaks Wastewater Monitoring Reports Data Behind the Dashboards CDC COVID-19 Community Levels by County 11/100 Previous Week 23/100 Counties with a high risk of illness and strain on the health care system The Centers for Disease Control assign a community risk level for every county. More info or find your county High Medium Low These Measures and Why They Were Chosen COVID-19 Virus Particles Found in Wastewater NCDHHS is testing samples of wastewater from select treatments plants across the state to look for COVID-19. This metric helps us understand spread of COVID-19 at the community level. People with COVID-19 shed viral particles in their stool. In wastewater, the particles are no longer infectious but can still be measured. Research suggests that the virus that causes COVID-19 can appear in wastewater 4-6 days before the first cases are identified and can serve as an early warning indicator before changes are seen in other metrics. More detailed data is available on the Wastewater Monitoring Dashboard. Emergency Room Visits for COVID Symptoms This metric shows the percent of emergency department visits that are for COVID-like illness (CLI). This metric can also give us an early indication of rising COVID-19 levels in the community and can give NCDHHS early insight into the burden of COVID in local emergency departments. The trend of increases and decreases can give us insight into the potential risk of exposure. More detailed data is available on the Respiratory Virus Surveillance Dashboard. Hospital Admissions – COVID-19 Patients Hospital admissions for COVID-19 give an understanding of the impact on the health care system. When this number is high, it can mean that hospitals are strained to provide care and may not be able provide care for non-urgent medical procedures. More detailed data is available on the Hospitalizations Dashboard. COVID-19 Cases Reported by Date of Specimen Collection While many cases are no longer reported due to at-home testing, the overall trends of cases reported can still be informative. Trends in reported cases help us to understand spread of disease in the community and in specific groups and locations over time. More detailed data is available on the Cases and Deaths Dashboard. Vaccines and Boosters Being up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect people from serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Monitoring data on the percent of North Carolinians who are up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines provides an understanding of immunity in the state. This data is also available at the county level, giving insight into how protected your local community is from the impact of a potential surge in cases. More detailed data is available on the Vaccinations Dashboard. COVID-19 Variants Tracking variants allows us to see when a new variant has been detected and is increasing over time in the state. Early detection of a new variant could warrant the state shifting aspects of its response, and it may warrant individuals making more cautious choices. The chart here shows the COVID-19 variants identified each week among specimens sequenced by laboratories that report whole genome sequencing (WGS) results to NCDHHS. The number of sequenced specimens shown is a small proportion of the total number of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) allows tracking of genetic changes in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19. These genetic changes occur over time and lead to the emergence of new variants that may have different characteristics. More detailed data is available from our weekly respiratory report, and the Centers for Disease Control. CDC COVID-19 Community Levels by County The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes a weekly map categorizing every county in the country as low, medium or high. The level is based on hospital beds in use, hospital admissions and new COVID-19 cases. This tool can help people understand COVID-19 spread in their community and provides recommended actions people may want to take. More detailed data is available from the Centers for Disease Control.