COVID-19 cases shatter previous state record

UP AND UP: North Carolina’s new COVID-19 cases topped 5,600 on Dec. 3, up from a previous high of 4,514 on Nov. 22. Graphic courtesy of NCDHHS

By now, it sounds like a broken record: New COVID-19 cases and total coronavirus-related hospitalizations in North Carolina both hit new highs today. But how the case record was broken is itself a record: On Dec. 3, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 5,637 new cases, more than 1,000 above the previous record set on Nov. 22 and the largest margin by which a previous high has been exceeded. 

Buncombe County similarly set a new daily case record with 106 new cases reported on Dec. 3, breaking the previous high of 72 cases on Nov. 24.

Statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations topped 2,100 on Dec. 2, the latest day of available data. That same day, national hospitalizations surpassed 100,000 for the first time; simultaneously, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, the United States reported 2,804 COVID-19 fatalities, the highest single-day death toll since the start of the pandemic.  

As of Dec. 3, the Mission Health system was treating 84 patients with lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. Mission Hospital in Asheville is caring for 64 of those patients, said spokesperson Nancy Lindell; Blue Ridge Regional and Mission Hospital McDowell both have eight, Angel Medical Center has two, and Highlands-Cashiers and Transylvania Regional each have one. 

North Carolina’s percentage of coronavirus tests returning positive, a metric used to assess the level of community viral spread, was 10.1% on Dec. 1 — more than double the 5% positivity rate state health officials have set as a target. 

In Western North Carolina, the following new cases per 100,000 residents were reported to NCDHHS the week of Nov. 26-Dec. 3:

  • McDowell: 356, down from 367 reported the previous week
  • Haywood: 292, up from 278 reported the previous week
  • Madison: 280, up from 382 reported the previous week
  • Buncombe: 168, up from 156 reported the previous week
  • Henderson: 162, down from 172 reported the previous week

The Dec. 3 jump in cases may partially be attributed to reporting delays following last week’s Thanksgiving holiday. Health experts, including Erin Kissane, co-founder of the volunteer COVID Tracking Project, have warned that states could see inflated single-day spikes in cases the week after Thanksgiving as data reporting catches up with the holiday backlog. 

At a Dec. 3 press conference, Dr. Mandy Cohen, North Carolina’s secretary of health and human services, said the new records were “alarming.” 

“I know it’s been a long year and a lot of people are working really hard,” Cohen said. “When we see more than 5,600 cases reported in 24 hours, it can feel discouraging. But we know what works: The 3Ws. Wear a face covering, wait 6 feet apart, wash your hands and get behind the mask.” 

Mask, capacity enforcement begins locally

A COVID-19 task force consisting of public health officials, Asheville Police Department officers, members of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department and city and county fire marshals will begin enforcing state face covering protocols and capacity limits on Dec. 3, said health department spokesperson Stacey Wood

The move comes a week after Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chair Brownie Newman and Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer updated local executive orders to reflect stricter state mask guidelines. The task force’s work was delayed due to the Thanksgiving holiday, Wood said. 

Task force members will preemptively patrol area businesses and respond to complaints submitted by community members, local leaders explained at a Nov. 25 press conference. To report a business in violation of COVID-19 safety guidelines, call 828-419-0095 or email

In other news

  • The final deadline for agricultural producers to sign up for the federal Coronavirus Food Assistance Program is Friday, Dec. 11. Livestock, vegetable, fruit, nursery, Christmas tree and other farmers are all eligible for financial assistance. More information can be found here
  • A Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office deputy working in court security has tested positive for COVID-19, the county reports. Contact tracing revealed potential exposure to eight other deputies, who will remain out of work until COVID-19 test results are returned. 
  • Open enrollment for 2021 health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act ends Tuesday, Dec. 15. Pisgah Legal Services is offering free assistance to WNC residents looking to review their options and sign up for plans.

Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Molly Horak
Molly Horak served as a reporter at Mountain Xpress. Follow me @molly_horak

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

3 thoughts on “COVID-19 cases shatter previous state record

  1. C-Law

    Cases are skyrocketing. Face diapers and lockdowns don’t work.

    Oh well as always the answer is MOAR FACEDIAPERING and MOAR LOCKDOWNS.

    Trust the plan. The plan is working. Stop thinking for yourself. Shut up and obey. 2+2=5

    • C-Law

      Henry, it’s pretty simple.

      At the start of this thing back in March and April I pointed out that if you cut the vectors off for this (or any other) disease it stops being a problem. I was hellbent on going after the people working in hospitals and nursing homes for this reason, since not only were they a major vector but they were giving the virus to vulnerable people that it was far more-likely to kill as well.

      Nobody listened.

      Well, months have gone by and now we have more data. So let’s use it.

      FACT: The only STATISTICALLY material transmission vectors for Covid-19 are nosocomial (by definition every transmission into a nursing home is that) and household.

      The CDC in fact says that a majority (given the current Rt estimates) of transmission happens in households.

      In fact here’s the MMWR paper on it—

      “ For this analysis, 101 households (including 101 index patients and 191 household members) were enrolled and completed ≥7 days of follow-up. …. Among all household members, 102 had nasal swabs or saliva specimens in which SARS-CoV-2 was detected by RT-PCR during the first 7 days of follow-up, for a secondary infection rate of 53% (95% CI = 46%–60%) (Table 2). Secondary infection rates based only on nasal swab specimens yielded similar results (47%, 95% CI = 40%–54%).”

      If you have it you will sustain community transmission statistically within your own household alone. That is, one person gets it for each person who has it, which means no matter how many masks you force people to wear, no matter how many schools you close and no matter how many restaurants and bars you shutter THIS WILL NEVER STOP UNTIL HERD IMMUNITY IS REACHED. If you slow it down for a bit as soon as you relax anything it comes roaring back because as soon as it gets into a house it finds enough people to keep virusing.

      This marks every bit of sanction on businesses, schools and mask orders in public places worthless by simple mathematics. You cannot maintain those public constraints forever but even if you could it does not matter as transmission in households is sufficient standing alone to keep the virus spreading in the community.

      But… this also means that if you shut both of those vectors down so that transmission through them effectively ceases then nothing else matters the in other direction either (masks, shutdowns, capacity limits, etc) because all of those other vectors together are insufficient to maintain transmission (Rt) over 1.0 and as a result it’s over.

      We know how to do it. Right now. Today. For pennies.

      FOR REAL.

      Here’s the study—

      Got it folks? This is health care workers using standard PPE as control, and the trial group added Ivermectin and carrageenan (snorted, basically; it’s a cheap food additive but is not probably actually active. Won’t hurt you though — it’s an extract from a species of red seaweed)

      Zero infections occurred in the trial group.


      That’s ONE HUNDRED percent effective .vs. 11% who got infected using MASKS without the Ivermectin — these are health care workers who have been trained to maintain protocol which nobody in the general public has been or will.

      Adverse events in the trial group from taking the drug? ZERO.

      That’s right — not one adverse event. Unlike the vaccines which are reported to be very uncomfortable — and we hope there’s nothing nasty that surfaces when we start using them on a mass basis. Do remember that this drug in particular has had billions of doses dispensed and consumed — not a few tens of thousands.

      So how do you cut Covid off?


      All health care workers are offered the protocol after personal medical advice.

      All nursing home and other high-risk persons are offered this protocol under personal medical advice. Ivermectin is extremely cheap, about a buck a pill if that, unbelievably safe and not a daily pill, in this use it’s once a month.

      If you test positive you are handed a pill for yourself and each member of your household with instructions to eat them immediately again, under personal medical advice rendered to you and your household members. That both treats you and provides a high degree of protection for everyone else in the house from getting it from you.

      The Egyptian study —

      showed 80% effectiveness as prophylaxis for Ivermectin among household members of confirmed infected persons.

      It also cut the early use mortality rate from 4% to ZERO.

      The expected results of oral Ivermectin distribution to at-risk, health care, and everyone in the household of someone diagnosed including the patient?

      80% prevention of contagion to other members of the household.

      80% reduction of transmission to at-risk people.

      Nearly 100% reduction in death for those who are given the drug early. Yes, it won’t work for everyone I’m sure. But if it’s 90% that’s a hell of a lot better than we have now, and the Egyptian data says that 99% of those who you intervene early with never need a hospital. In other words the entire hospital “overload” problem disappears immediately.

      In addition the Rt, effective transmission rate, is dampened by approximately 0.5 which is enough to drop it under 1.0 everywhere in the United States.

      There is no need for masks, for business or school closures or capacity limits of any sort because the primary vectors are eliminated and transmission cannot be maintained.

      Do this and the entire “pandemic” is over in ONE WEEK.



      The two primary vectors are cut off and that’s the end of it. Those who get it are, with a high degree of reliability, treated and recover at home. Statistically nobody goes to the hospital and nobody dies.

      Statistically zero people who are not today infected need to die from this point forward.


      And we’ve known that this drug works since June, so everyone in the political, medical and so-called “science” communities who have sat on their ass and screamed about MAAAASSSSSSSKKKKSSSS are murderous bastards.

      We’ve known how to cut this virus off at the knees by making it unable to infect another person, on average, for each person infected for nearly six months and every one of those *******s willfully and intentionally ignored this in favor of “vaccines” and WORTHLESS mask orders.

      Cut the bull**** folks.

      Willful ignorance is not an excuse.


Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.