MOUNT AIRY, MARYLAND - MAY 31: Clint Connelly (C) and Devin O’Neill (R) arm wrestle during the Frederick County Maryland Arm Wrestling Team's practice at the home of Sergey Svetlikov on May 31, 2020 in Mount Airy, Maryland. Hosted by Russian native Svetlikov, who once competed in Russia, it's the first time the group has been able to practice since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March. Athletes of all levels and disciplines across the globe are now training differently under strict policies in place due to the coronavirus. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

North Carolina’s COVID-19 count increased by 2,303 cases on Sunday to a total of 246,028 people who have been infected with the virus since it arrived in the state in March.

The day-over-day increase was higher by 201 cases than the increase on Saturday, when 2,102 cases were reported. Saturday’s number represented a slight decrease after two consecutive record-breaking days.

The state reported five additional deaths on Sunday, for a total of 3,934.

As of Sunday morning, 1,129 people were hospitalized with the novel coronavirus, the state reported, a drop of 11 people from Saturday.

Cases of the virus have been increasing the past week; North Carolina hit record numbers of new cases on Thursday and Friday. Cases numbers in October have been comparable to those the state saw in July, when the virus last peaked.

Coronavirus testing has been increasing in the state. North Carolina so far has conducted 3,609,035 tests. On Friday, when the number was last updated, the state Department of Health and Human Services reported a 6.1% positive test rate. The state’s goal is a 5% positive rate.

The state moved to Phase 3 of COVID-19 restrictions in early October, a loosening of the rules to allow bars, amusement parks and movie theaters to open. Also this month, many public schools across North Carolina have reopened for in-person instruction.

Gov. Roy Cooper has not said whether he plans to extend Phase 3 when his current executive order expires on Oct. 23 or if he will tighten the rules to try to restrict the spread of illness.