By the second week in July, COVID-19 cases in North Carolina were climbing fast.
With nearly 19,000 diagnoses over the previous two weeks, only five states recorded more new coronavirus cases than North Carolina did.
"Today is our highest day of hospitalizations and our second-highest day of cases," Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, announced on July 9, standing behind a podium in the state's Emergency Operations Center. "Please continue to treat the virus like the deadly threat that it is."