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MONROE — The COVID-19 positivity rate in the state of North Carolina has dropped to 1.6% as of Friday (June 11) at noon, according to a report from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. The positivity rate — which determines the percentage of residents who are testing positive for COVID-19 — was at 3.0% on Tuesday (June 8).

A positivity rate below 5% indicates the spread of the virus is limited enough for a community to resume its activities, according to Johns Hopkins University. Anyone who isn't vaccinated should wear a mask in public.

Current hospitalizations in the state also dropped, from 568 on Tuesday to 535 on Friday. There have been 13,265 COVID-related deaths in the state over a period of roughly 15 months.

Union County’s positivity rate was at 2.6% as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the Union County Government’s COVID-19 dashboard. Union County’s had 24,740 cumulative cases of COVID, and 225 County residents have died from the virus.

Across the nation, nearly 600,000 Americans have died from the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC recommends getting vaccinated for COVID-19. According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by government or businesses.

The CDC reports “authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19.”