COOPER: ECU medical school, others to begin test tracing for COVID-19

Published: Apr. 17, 2020 at 2:33 PM EDT
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East Carolina University's medical school will join two others in the state to begin test tracing to learn just how far COVID-19 has spread in North Carolina.

The three medical schools, ECU, UNC & Duke, will be part of a coordinated statewide effort to learn what percentage of people have no symptoms.

Gov. Roy Cooper hopes this will tell medical experts how the disease spreads and aid in the reopening of North Carolina.

At his briefing this afternoon, the governor says the state still needs help from the federal government to combat the virus. Cooper says they need more testing supplies to collect even more samples. He said so far they have used 73,000 tests and are using 13 labs to get those results quicker.

"I understand people are anxious to know which orders may be eased first and when that's going to happen," said the governor. "There's no perfect sequence or timing but there is health guidance, business guidance...and common sense."

Since March 30, the state has been virtually shut down except for essential businesses. More than 630,000 people so far have filed for unemployment in the state.

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