NC'S NEW CASE COUNTS TOP 9,000, OVER 3,500 HOSPITALIZED: At least 564,924 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 6,910 have died, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 6,487 new COVID-19 cases, down from 9,365 reported the day before and the record 9,527 reported Friday. A record 3,576 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Sunday. As of Friday, the latest day for which data are available, 13.6% of COVID-19 tests were positive. A national projection model from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts 1,100 more people may die from the coronavirus in North Carolina during the first three weeks of January.