CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Public Health released the latest COVID-19 data Saturday morning.
There are now 17,982 confirmed cases in North Carolina and 652 deaths. 238,586 tests have been performed. From Friday to Saturday it increased by 853 new cases, along with 11 additional reported.
Saturday numbers are the biggest day-to-day increase the state has seen in coronavirus cases. North Carolina reported its previous largest single-day increase on Thursday, May 14, with a total of 691 cases.
On Friday, Dr. Mandy Cohen with the Department of Health and Human Services provided guidance on who all should be tested for coronavirus. The list includes people who are considered high-risk, have underlying health conditions, those who have regular contact with people in high-risk settings like nursing homes and hospitals, as well as essential workers whose jobs make social distancing difficult.
Last month, Cooper announced his multi-phase plan for reopening. Phase 1 was introduced at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 8. This allowed some non-essential businesses to reopen with strict guidelines for social distancing, reopened closed parks and limited social gatherings to no more than 10 people.
Earlier this week, Cooper said despite being pleased with North Carolina's testing data, the state likely wouldn't be ready to enter Phase 2 before May 22.