Reports

​​​​​​COVID-19 Patients Presumed to be Recovered will be updated every Monday by 4 p.m. The next update for this report will be on Wednesday, January, 20, 2021.

The estimated number of patients presumed to be recovered from symptoms from COVID-19 is used in combination with other measures to provide a general sense of how many people with COVID-19 have likely recovered from symptoms.

NCDHHS estimates a median time to recovery of 14 days from the date of specimen collection for non-fatal COVID-19 cases who were not hospitalized, or if hospitalization status is unknown. The estimated median recovery time is 28 days from the date of specimen collection for hospitalized non-fatal COVID-19 cases. Estimates are used since patient-specific data on the actual time to resolution of all symptoms are not available for all COVID-19 cases in North Carolina.

It is important to note that patients’ actual recovery times could be shorter or longer depending on the severity of illness. This interval was chosen based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidance, and in consultation with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other state health departments. A median recovery time of two weeks from illness onset for mild cases and three–six weeks for patients with severe or critical disease was reported by WHO. These estimates are unrelated to the number of cases that are or are not still infectious.

These estimates cannot account for other factors that could impact a patient’s recovery time or disease severity, such as age and underlying health conditions. These estimates do not measure the amount of natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the population. Doctors and scientists do not yet know if patients who have recovered are protected with natural immunity from getting COVID-19 again.

Risk Factors for Severe Illness from COVID-19 will be updated every Tuesday by 4 p.m. 

People who are over the age of 65 and people of any age who have certain underlying health conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. These conditions include chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, severe obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, and immunosuppressive conditions, including cancer treatment, smoking, and other immune disorders.

These underlying health conditions identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were cross referenced with NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) data sources to identify the percent of North Carolinians with higher risk for serious illness. There are limitations to this analysis. The NCDHHS data sources do not contain every underlying health condition identified by the CDC, and the definitions of the specific health condition may not align exactly.

Read more about the CDC’s guidance on persons at risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

What percent of North Carolinians are at higher risk for a severe illness from COVID-19?
An estimated 51.1% of adults in North Carolina are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 based on being 65 or older, having at least one of the underlying health conditions, or both. These data are from the NC State Center for Health Statistics Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System (BRFSS) for 2018, which is the most recently available year of data.

What percent of people in North Carolina had one of these underlying health conditions?
An estimated 42% of people in North Carolina has one of the underlying health conditions included in the CDC’s guidance on people at high risk for a severe illness from COVID-19. Fifty-two percent of people in North Carolina who died in 2018, the most recent complete year with data available, had one of these underlying health conditions.

These underlying health conditions include chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, severe obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, and immunosuppressive conditions, including cancer treatment, smoking, and other immune disorders.

Data on underlying health conditions in North Carolina’s population are from the NC State Center for Health Statistics BRFSS for 2018, which is the most recently available year of data. Data on underlying health conditions in North Carolina deaths are from the NC State Center for Health Statistics Vital Statistics.

What percent of COVID-19 cases and deaths also have an underlying health condition?
Data about underlying health conditions in COVID-19 cases are obtained through case investigations, which take time. Local Health Departments contact each person that has tested positive for COVID-19 to gather this data. Information about the presence or absence of specific health conditions will become more complete as case investigations are completed and information is entered into NC COVID, but this information will not be available for all cases. Therefore, data are not yet available for every case or death.

COVID-19 Cases in Rural Counties. This report was published on November 12, 2020.

As community spread of COVID-19 continues in North Carolina, newly reported cases are increasingly being identified in rural counties. NCDHHS used The Rural Center’s definition of rural, suburban, and urban counties.