Image source: Screenshot from the NC State Athletics Twitter account September 25 showing fans rushing the field, crowding together and visibly smiling, immediately after the Wolfpack’s upset football victory over Clemson. As proof of just how unexpected the win was, it took the professional panic-pushers at WRAL — who are normally so ready with stories like this and this to foretell Covid disaster if people dare enjoy normal life such as watching football — two full days after the game before coming up with “Still reveling in upset win, Wolfpack fans not worried about possible COVID outbreak.”

This past week nearly 99.4% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone, and nearly five out of six (82.1%) adult North Carolinians are estimated to have either vaccine-induced or natural immunity.

Here is the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending September 27 (click here for an explanation of the NC Threat-Free Index):

  • As of September 27: 1,297,563 North Carolinians are presumed to be recovered from COVID-19.
  • Active cases comprised just 5.0% 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 just over 0.6% (six-tenths of one percent) of NC’s population (note: active cases are lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus recoveries and deaths)
  • Over 15 out of every 16 (93.9%) 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 0.15% 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 87.0% 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 99.4% 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 September 27, the estimate is now nearly five-sixths (82.1%) 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, recently released CDC research 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 79.9% immunity.