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The NC Threat-Free Index and Immunity Update for the Week Ending July 19

Image source: Screenshot from the WECT story on the first concert in Wilmington at the Live Oak Bank Pavilion. Please note: “Widespread Panic” is the name of the band performing, not a commentary on the times.

This past week 99.9% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone, and an estimated 73.8% of adult North Carolinians are immune. Readers be advised: these numbers reflect what Gov. Roy Cooper desperately refers to as a “State of Emergency” necessitating him and only a few other governors nationwide to order small children to remain muzzled and breathing through pathogen-filled cloth.

Here is the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending July 19:

  • As of July 19, there were over a million North Carolinians presumed to be recovered from COVID-19 (the total is 1,001,590)
  • Active cases comprised just 1.0% 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 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent) of NC’s population (note: active cases are lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus recoveries and deaths)
  • About 49 out of every 50 (97.6%) of NC’s total cases were recovered, meaning they are no longer infectious
  • Only just over 0.1% of people in NC had died with COVID-19 (regardless of the actual cause of death)
  • About 90.4% 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, 99.9% 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)

Recall last week, I asked:

By next week, there will be over a million people who’ve recovered from Covid-19 infections. Will media, ever-ready to give banner headlines to bad numbers, be willing report that number at all? Or would they think it could undermine the present political push that only vaccinations matter and let’s dare not consider natural immunity?

Here’s the answer to those questions:

Community immunity update

For July 19, the estimate is now 73.8% 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.

Recall that Cooper’s standard of immunity was two-thirds of adult North Carolinians partially vaccinated, with no regard whatsoever for natural immunity from actual infection, even though that is the stronger and more durable immunity. Nevertheless, with 59 percent of North Carolinians already partially vaccinated, that should be more than sufficient for North Carolinians to be past two-thirds of adult North Carolinians with immunity.

Furthermore, including vaccinated and naturally immune children (18 and under) into the mix, North Carolina is at 70% immunity. As a reminder, it is widely accepted that herd immunity from Covid-19 is with 70% of people immune.

Deaths as reported vs. when they actually occurred

Once again, a large number of the “new” deaths announced in the past week actually occurred several months ago, even in 2020. There were 36 total “new” deaths announced in the past week, 26 (72%) of which occurred from May 2021 on (i.e., in the past two and a half months). By contrast, 11 (31%) of the “new” deaths had actually occurred over a half a year ago — from January 2021 on back through September 2020 (DHHS also retracted a death from February 2021).

One other thing

It’s after 3 p.m. as I post this, and DHHS has still not posted today’s data, which are supposed to be updated “at approximately noon.” These delays tend to foreshadow something odd in that day’s reporting, the frequency of which is why the COVID Tracking Project cautioned, “Interpret North Carolina’s historic data with caution.”

Jon Sanders / Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...