COVID 19 POSITIVITY RATES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE DOWN IN NC: At least 858,548 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 11,212 have died since March, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Saturday reported 2,643 new COVID-19 cases, down from 2,924 reported the day before. At least 1,414 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Saturday, down from 1,465 on Friday. Saturday’s total is the lowest reported since mid-November. As of Thursday, the latest date for which data are available, 5.4% of COVID-19 tests came back positive, up from 4.7% on Wednesday. Wednesday was second day in a row the rate was below 5%, which health officials have said is the target rate to control the spread of the virus.