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'We're just at the beginning': N.C. state epidemiologist updates testing, next steps

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Posted at 3:23 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 15:23:47-04

As of Monday, the total number of cases in North Carolina stands at more than 1,300. More than 20,000 people have been tested.

The numbers only tell part of the story, though.

North Carolina state epidemiologist Dr. Zach Moore says there are limits to their ability to test people, so they're relying on other tools to track cases.

They're also looking to start incorporating information about how many of those cases are people in intensive care and on respirators.

As far as where things stand, he says right now the state is just in the first wave.

"I think the bad news we have to acknowledge is we’re just at the beginning. Every indication is that this is really ramping up now, and we’re in what we would call the 'acceleration phase' of the pandemic here in North Carolina, so certainly have not peaked," said Dr. Moore.

Dr. Moore says it's too soon to say if steps taken to 'flatten the curve' are working.

"You wouldn’t really expect the impacts of each of these mitigation steps, the canceling schools, the mass gatherings, the stay at home, that type of stuff, until about two weeks after they go into effect because of the time it takes between when you’re exposed and when you might actually get diagnosed," said Dr. Moore.

So when could we see a surge in North Carolina? Right now, it's still unclear.

Dr. Moore says they're working with experts across the state to figure that out.