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.