Image source: Screenshot from Twitter as the North Carolina State University Marching Band performs “Amazing Grace” to a packed Carter-Finley Stadium at NC State’s football season opener Sept. 2. The tribute was to honor the memory of 13 U.S. service members killed in Kabul by the Taliban after Pres. Joe Biden callously ordered U.S. forces to drop everything and leave Afghanistan under Taliban control. They included Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California, of Combat Logistics Battalion 24, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee, of 9th PSYOP Battalion, 8th PSYOP Group, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.

This past week 99.1% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone, and more than four out of five (80.8%) adult North Carolinians are estimated to be immune.

Here is the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending September 6:

  • As of September 6, 1,154,222 North Carolinians are presumed to be recovered from COVID-19.
  • Active cases comprised just 7.4% 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 0.88% (nearly nine-tenths of one percent) of NC’s population (note: active cases are lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus recoveries and deaths)
  • About 11 out of every 12 (91.4%) 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 just over 0.1% of people in NC had died with COVID-19 (regardless of the actual cause of death and amid hints from DHHS and the CDC that a significant proportion of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths were “not related to COVID-19“)
  • About 88.2% 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, 99.1% 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 6, the estimate is now over four-fifths (80.8%) 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.

We have been providing these estimates since May 2021. This estimate tracks with recently released CDC research estimating 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. As of today, Sept. 8, that standard has been eclipsed: 67% of adult North Carolinians are partially vaccinated.

Furthermore, including vaccinated and naturally immune children (18 and under) into the mix, North Carolina is at 77.9% immunity.

DHHS finds a “new” death from over a year ago

Also, sometime in the previous week, DHHS found and reported on a “new” death that actually occurred on August 2, 2020. It’s not even the first time it has taken DHHS over a year to decide a death actually belongs in the Covid count.