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The NC Threat-Free Index and Immunity Update for the Week Ending November 22

Image source: Gov. Roy Cooper’s Twitter feed a year ago today, as he tightened his unscientific and demonstrably ineffective face mask order against people deliberately just before Thanksgiving. Having already canceled Easter, Independence Day, and attending college football games, the governor actually wanted to force people to limit their Thanksgiving celebrations to 10 or fewer and have everyone gathered around the table in masks. Worse, he wanted their neighbors or family members to snitch on those who didn’t.

This past week about 99.8% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone, and eight out of nine (88.8%) adult North Carolinians are estimated to have either vaccine-induced or natural immunity.

Here is the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending November 22. 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 November 22: 1,477,280 North Carolinians are presumed to be recovered from COVID-19
  • Active cases comprised just 1.6% 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 just over 0.2% (two-tenths of one percent) of NC’s population (note: active cases are lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus recoveries and deaths)
  • Also, 36 out of every 37 (97.2%) 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, nearly 99.8% 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 November 22:

  • Now eight out of nine (88.8%) 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, the total population of North Carolina is at 83.0% immunity
  • As of November 22, there had been 12,774 reinfections for those with prior lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19, and the estimated reinfection rate was over 0.8% (note: for reasons discussed here, the actual reinfection rate is likely much lower than the estimated rate)
  • As of November 6, per the most recent update from DHHS, there had been 97,160 post-vaccination infections, and the estimated post-vaccination infection rate was over 1.7%  (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 November 6, 23% of Covid-19 cases in North Carolina were to people considered fully vaccinated
  • As of November 22, only one in nine (11.2%) adult North Carolinians were estimated to have neither vaccine-induced nor natural 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...