Here is the NC Threat-Free Index*  for the week ending February 22:

  • As of Feb. 22, there were 795,521 North Carolinians presumed to be recovered from COVID-19
  • Active cases comprised just 4.5% 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 less than 0.4% (four-tenths of one percent) of NC’s population (note: active cases are lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus recoveries and deaths)
  • More than 16 out of every 17 (94.2%) of NC’s total cases were recovered, meaning they are no longer infectious
  • Only 0.1% of people in NC had died with COVID-19 (regardless of the actual cause of death)
  • Meanwhile, about 92% 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, over 99.5% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone — a virus most had never had and the rest had recovered from (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)

I mentioned last week the sudden change between my estimates of recoveries vs. the Cooper administration’s official estimate. Till last week my estimates (which I keep as a data integrity check) had been consistently higher. In last week’s data run, my estimates were dramatically lower. This week, however, my estimates are higher again.

For readers wondering how that can be, they must understand that every datum from the state Department of Health and Human Services that I’m using for this index is transient except one: the weekly recoveries number. DHHS’s reported daily case numbers and even daily death numbers are always subject to change, even going back for months.