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Curve in Context: North Carolina hovers at goal line of 5% positive tests

State health leaders want to see the percentage of positive tests at 5% for two straight weeks before easing more restrictions.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Is North Carolina ready to enter Phase 3? 

It would allow bars, movie theaters, and more event spaces to reopen. 

We'll learn the answer to that soon because the current Phase 2.5 expires Friday. 

Here's a look at Wednesday's COVID-19: 

  • There were 1,495 new cases 
  • Total cases since March now top more than 210,000
  • At least 956 people are in hospitals

Here's why Wednesday's case numbers were much higher than the previous day. 

RELATED: COVID-19 Blog: North Carolina's percentage of positive tests remains around NCDHHS goal of 5%

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued yet another alert on its website about a technical error with labs - that caused delays in Tuesday data submission. 

So, the missing cases from Tuesday got added to Wednesday's newly-confirmed COVID cases. 

Let's look at North Carolina's percentage of positive tests. 

It takes about two days for this data to come back. 

We just learned that the percent positive from two days ago, Monday, was 6.5%. 

On Tuesday, it was 6%, and the curve started to trend upward again. 

These were the highest percent positives since Sept. 8. 

The state's goal is 5% or lower for two straight weeks. 

Gov. Roy Cooper and his state task force will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Wednesday. 

We could learn more about these key metrics, and how they influence reopening plans. 

You can watch the live stream on our website or on the WFMY News 2 YouTube channel