“Today we have the highest hospitalization rate since the start of the epidemic,” Cooper said at a news conference on Tuesday, referring to statewide figures that also reflect the state of Kun.
The state alert system is accompanied by recommendations that local governments, businesses and individuals should take based on the levels, Cooper said.
“Put simply, the new District Alert System is showing the viral hotspots in our state,” he said. “Right now, North Carolina standards are increasing, not rising. But the boom could happen quickly.”
North Carolina health secretary Mandy Cohen said hospitals are overwhelmed, “especially in the Trinity area.”
While Cooper has strongly suggested that counties with high levels of transmission should more aggressively enforce statewide health guidelines and penalize non-compliant companies, he has also raised the possibility of the state imposing greater restrictions on them.
Leaders in more than half of the state’s counties, including the 10 seen as “dispersed at the critical community level,” are now being encouraged to pass ordinances that impose fines on residents and companies that do not comply with public health directives. They include the statewide mask state that Cooper enacted months ago as well as restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings.
The 10 “critical” counties, mainly in rural areas, and 44 others with a “high” prevalence are also required to consider cutting alcohol sales before the 11pm statewide deadline.