Image source: Screenshot from the Oct. 1 WRAL news story about the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s football win over Duke University. Despite WRAL warnings that college football games were “risk guaranteed” events, fans packed the stadium.

This past week nearly 99.5% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone, and over five out of six (83.5%) adult North Carolinians are estimated to have either vaccine-induced or natural immunity.

Here is the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending October 4 (click here for an explanation of the NC Threat-Free Index):

  • As of October 4: 1,338,603 North Carolinians are presumed to be recovered from COVID-19.
  • Active cases comprised just 3.9% of NC’s total case count (note: a case of COVID isn’t a permanent infection, and only someone with an active case of the virus can conceivably transmit it to you)
  • Active cases represented over 0.5% (one-half of one percent) of NC’s population (note: active cases are lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus recoveries and deaths)
  • About 19 out of every 20 (94.9%) of NC’s total cases were recovered, meaning they are (a) no longer infectious and (b) have acquired persistent, long-lasting, and robust natural immunity to Covid-19
  • Only 0.16% of people in NC had died with COVID-19 (regardless of the actual cause of death and amid research findings as well as admissions from DHHS and the CDC that a significant proportion of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths were “not related to COVID-19“)
  • About 86.8% people in NC had never had a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, despite the PCR test cycle threshold set so high as to produce a large amount of false positives (note: this proportion will always decline, but we have been living with this virus since February 2020, as far as testing is concerned)
  • All things considered, nearly 99.5% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone (note: this proportion will fluctuate based on relative growth in lab-confirmed cases vs. recoveries, and it is likely understated because it does not account for vaccinations)

Herd immunity update

For October 4, the estimate is now over five-sixths (83.5%) of adult North Carolinians with immunity (vaccine-induced immunity and natural immunity), using CDC estimates of actual infections and DHHS estimates of current vaccinations and the formula outlined here. (By comparison, CDC research released September 2 estimated combined infection- and vaccination-induced SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence for the Central and Western North Carolina Region at 81.2%(79.3%–82.9%; see Supplement 4).)

Recall that Cooper’s standard of immunity was two-thirds (66.7%) of adult North Carolinians partially vaccinated. This standard had no regard whatsoever for natural immunity from actual infection, even though that is the stronger and more durable immunityVaccination is a means, not the end — the goal is herd immunity. That standard has been eclipsed: 68% of adult North Carolinians are partially vaccinated.

Furthermore, including vaccinated and naturally immune children (18 and under) into the mix, North Carolina is at 81.3% immunity.