NC'S POSITIVE TEST RATE FOR COVID 19 HAS DROPPED BELOW 5% AGAIN: At least 1,463,410 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 17,765 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday reported 2,609 new COVID-19 cases, down from 3,003 on Thursday. At least 1,693 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday, including 468 adult patients who are being treated in intensive care units, health officials said. On Wednesday, the latest date with available information, 4.4% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Roughly 71% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and about 66% have been fully vaccinated. Still not enough.