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The NC Threat-Free Index and Immunity Update for the Week Ending October 25

Image source: Screenshot from an Oct. 20 WRAL story about people enjoying the North Carolina State Fair, where masks weren’t required, inside or outside, either by attendees or vendors. Smiling faces abound.

This past week over 99.7% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone, and about eight out of nine (88.7%) adult North Carolinians are estimated to have either vaccine-induced or natural immunity.

Here is the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending October 25. All of the statistics generated for the NC Threat-Free Index are based on numbers provided by government sources. This link gives a detailed explanation of how each statistic is derived.

  • As of October 25: 1,422,175 North Carolinians are presumed to be recovered from COVID-19
  • Active cases comprised just 2.0% 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 less than 0.3% (three-tenths of one percent) of NC’s population (note: active cases are lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus recoveries and deaths)
  • Over 30 out of every 31 (96.8%) of NC’s total cases were recovered, meaning they are (a) no longer infectious, (b) have acquired persistent, longlasting, and robust natural immunity to Covid-19, and (c) have stronger immunity against Covid-19 and its variants than even those who are fully vaccinated
  • Only 0.17% of people in NC had died with COVID-19 (regardless of the actual cause of death and amid research findings as well as admissions from DHHS and the CDC that a significant proportion of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths were “not related to COVID-19”)
  • All things considered, over 99.7% 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, reinfections, and post-vaccination infections

For the week ending October 25:

  • Now about eight out of nine (88.7%) adult North Carolinians are estimated to have some immunity, whether vaccine-induced immunity or natural immunity, the stronger and more durable immunity, to Covid-19 (note: this estimate uses DHHS case numbers, CDC estimates of actual infections, DHHS estimates of current vaccinations, and the formula outlined here)
  • Furthermore, including vaccinated and naturally immune children (18 and under) into the mix, North Carolina is at 82.5% immunity
  • As of October 25, there had been 11,511 reinfections for those with prior lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19, and the estimated reinfection rate was 0.8% (note: for reasons discussed here, the actual reinfection rate is likely much lower than the estimated rate)
  • As of October 9, per the most recent update from DHHS, there had been 82,962 post-vaccination infections, and the estimated post-vaccination infection rate was  1.6% (note: given how strictly DHHS defines a “post-vaccination infection” — someone must be at least two weeks past receiving the second of two injections; anyone with only one injection or within two weeks of receiving the second “counts” as an unvaccinated case of Covid — the actual post-vaccination infection rate could be much higher than the estimated rate)
  • Also as of October 9, 22% of Covid-19 cases in North Carolina were to people considered fully vaccinated
  • As of October 25, just over one in nine (11.3%) North Carolinians were estimated to have neither vaccine-induced nor natural immunity

DHHS discovers a “new” death … from May 2020

Also, sometime in the past week, DHHS reported as a “new” Covid-19 death one that had occurred well over a year ago — on May 14, 2020.

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...