CHARLOTTE, N.C. — New data from North Carolina health officials is shedding light on what types of places are seeing the most community spread of COVID-19 across the state.
From the places you work to where you eat and where children go to learn, WCNC Charlotte combed through the data. The data, which is based on contact tracing and voluntary reporting, highlights areas with COVID-19 clusters, cases and deaths.
A cluster is defined as at least five cases scientifically linked within 14 days of each other.
"Our trends are worrisome," said Dr. Mandy Cohen, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The data shows meat and poultry processing had the highest number of cases in any workplace, with more than 4,000 cases and 20 deaths.
As for food and drink, restaurants had more cases and deaths than bars and breweries.
"I wouldn’t take that to say it’s safer to go to a bar or brewery than it is to go to a restaurant," said Dr. Robert Robinson. "I think it probably shakes out to the pure and total numbers who are frequenting those establishments."
The data also shows schools and colleges had more cases than child care, but child care had more deaths.
Of community events, religious gatherings had the highest number of deaths, 27, associated with COVID-19 clusters. Independent living facilities had more cases and deaths than apartments, according to the data.
And there were more than 270 cases and three deaths associated with health care settings.
"What we really suggest is limiting any unnecessary exposure," said Dr. Robinson. "If you don’t have to go out, the guidance is not to."
Congregate living settings and schools are among those required to report COVID-19 clusters.