A woman wearing a mask and searching for books in the library.

Gov. Roy Cooper encouraged North Carolinians to continue to monitor the 3 W's, which include wearing a mask.

The numbers look optimistic, but citizens should still remain cautious.

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to give an update on the COVID-19 metrics throughout the state.

“As of today North Carolina has had a total of 923,430 COVID-19 cases. There have been 870 new cases reported throughout the state since yesterday. There are 982 people in the hospital and sadly 12,189 people have died,” said Gov. Cooper.

According to the governor, the new daily case count is the lowest it has been since June 2020.

There were 16 new deaths reported in the Tuesday numbers.

Gov. Cooper announced this week was Public Health Week and thanked everyone who has worked tirelessly and put themselves in danger over the last year fighting COVID-19.

“Thank you for all you have done,” he added.

According to the press release, metrics across the state have remained stable as restrictions have been eased.

“This is good, but everyone needs to continue to be responsible,” said Gov. Cooper.

He also announced with summer coming the Department of Health and Human Services were talking with other officials for guideline recommendations for what will be safe and unsafe, specifically beginning around the time of July 4. He said they soon would have a plan together that they could share.

Gov. Cooper announced that effective yesterday (April 7) group 5 would be allowed to be vaccinated. Group 5 includes 16 and older would be allowed to receive a vaccination.

N.C. Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen reviewed the updated numbers for each individual metric statewide.

The number of individuals being seen in the emergency department for COVID-19 symptoms has decreased. Cohen gave this area a green check.

The number of positive cases across the state had decreased, but had hit a plateau. She gave this metric a yellow line.

“The number of positive tests across the state is the lowest it has been since February. The state is at the 5 percent goal. This metric gets a green check,” said Dr. Cohen.

Hospitalizations have decreased, but still remain elevated. This metric received a yellow line.

The state has recently updated its COVID-19 Alert Map, adding light yellow for counties with moderate spread and green for counties that are low impact.

There are currently no counties listed in the red category. The sole red county from the previous update, Randolph County, has been downgraded to orange.

According to Dr. Cohen, 38.4 percent of North Carolinians have been partially vaccinated, and 25.7 percent have been fully vaccinated. 72.9 percent of those 65 years old and above have received a partial vaccination across the state, and 65.2 percent have been fully vaccinated.

“Pfizer will be the only vaccine available that is approved for those who are 16 and 17 years of age,” she continued.

Gov. Cooper urged all North Carolinians to continue to follow the three W’s, encourage everyone that can to get vaccinated and to work together to put this pandemic behind everyone.

Leslie Beachboard can be reached via email at bertienews@ncweeklies.com.

Thadd White is Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance and can be reached via email at twhite@ncweeklies.com.