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The NC Threat-Free Index and Immunity Update for the Week Ending August 30

Image source: Screenshot from Facebook of kids enjoying themselves recently at Fairwood Lanes Bowling Center in Roanoke Rapids. The owners of Fairwood Lanes were among the many, many business owners victimized by Gov. Roy Cooper’s arbitrary shutdown orders. Bowling alleys sued and won the right to reopen on July 7, 2020, but a week later the N.C. Supreme Court backed the governor’s desire to keep them closed. Not till September 4, 2020, did Cooper allow bowling alleys to do any business at all, and barely that, at 30% capacity. It wasn’t until February 26, 2021, that Cooper allowed them open at 50% capacity; they were allowed 75% capacity starting March 26, 2021; and they were finally allowed to behave as normal businesses again on May 14, 2021. What is not and must never be normal is people in a state such as North Carolina with such a strongly, clearly worded Article II, Section 1 in their State Constitution — “The legislative power of the State shall be vested in the General Assembly, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives” — tossing about such a phrase as “the governor allowed” businesses to conduct business as usual. 

This past week 99.2% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone, and about four out of five (79.7%) adult North Carolinians are estimated to be immune.

Here is the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending August 30:

  • As of August 30, 1,112,923 North Carolinians are presumed to be recovered from COVID-19.
  • Active cases comprised just 6.7% 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 0.76% (just over three-quarters of one percent) of NC’s population (note: active cases are lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus recoveries and deaths)
  • About 12 out of every 13 (92.1%) 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 88.7% 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, 99.2% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone — a virus many have never even 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)

Herd immunity update

For August 30, the estimate is now well over three-fourths (79.7%) 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 (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. With 65 percent of North Carolinians already partially vaccinated, that should be more than sufficient for North Carolinians to be past the two-thirds goal of adult North Carolinians with immunity.

Furthermore, including vaccinated and naturally immune children (18 and under) into the mix, North Carolina is at 76.4% immunity.

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...