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NC Health Officials Working Toward State COVID-19 Projections

N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen delivers a COVID-19 update.

The state Department of Health and Human Services is analyzing North Carolina's demographics to create projections for the coronavirus outbreak.

The agency's secretary, Dr. Mandy Cohen, said Wednesday that the information will give health care systems a better idea of what to expect as more patients arrive at hospitals. But she warned no  prediction is a crystal ball.

"It's only as good as the data that we have at the moment that we can feed into it, and all of this is so new," she said. "We don't have the perfect data, we don't have the perfect assumptions, and we don't know with precision how all of this is going to play out."

Cohen said evidence from around the world shows aggressive social distancing does work to slow the spread of the virus.  A statewide stay-at-home order took effect this week, and lasts through April 29.

Meanwhile, emergency management officials say they are slowly getting more personal protective equipment from the federal government, but they are still competing with other states for items like masks, gowns and face shields.

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
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