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The essentials...

Actionable + hyperlocal news to know:

Wake County’s COVID-19 case rate doubled in the last week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Data Tracker and the state numbers.

The CDC’s community transmission risk for Wake County remains at high level, with now 489 cases per 100,000 people. The 7-day rate is up from 247 cases/100,000 people last week.

The state numbers for Wake County’s case rate nearly doubled since last week, now at 932 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days. Last week the case rate was 468 cases per 100,000 people.

Testing and the percentage of tests that are positive also increased over the last week.
CDC COVID Data Tracker corrects Wake Co. numbers

On Dec. 29, the CDC COVID Data Tracker showed a decrease in case rate that was not accurate.

After Raleigh Convergence contacted the CDC, a spokesperson said there was a lapse in county-level reporting for North Carolina and Wake County for Dec. 23-Dec. 27.

That lag in data source for the CDC skewed the case rate on the COVID Data Tracker, which showed Wednesday that case rate and the community transmission level was lower than reality.

The CDC spokesperson told Raleigh Convergence that reporting is resumed and the data is updated with the correct numbers for Wake County.

Raleigh Convergence reached out to the CDC and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services after the two data sources appeared to differ in their picture of Wake County’s community spread. [more background on the data]

The CDC numbers

The CDC’s 7-day case rate over the past few weeks:
  • Current rate: 489 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Last week: 247 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Two weeks ago: 179 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Three weeks ago: 179 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Four weeks ago: 109 cases per 100,000 people.
The state numbers

The state measures the rate of confirmed cases differently, as the last 14 days.

The percent of tests that are positive in Wake County is up significantly, now at 8.4%, from 5.8% last week.

Outbreaks and K-12, childcare clusters data was not shared by the state this week because of the holiday. No new congregate living facility outbreaks were announced by the county since last week.

📊 Data links + more analysis: []

Raleigh Convergence has analyzed local-level data for Wake County for the last 86 weeks. [become a member to support hyperlocal journalism like this!]
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New Year's Eve:
Raleigh NYE celebrations

Hi everyone! It’s Susan from @experience_raleigh here, with a roundup of some Raleigh New Year’s Eve celebrations! 

There’s so much more happening this year than last – and we are ready for it! But there are still concerns about the rising number of Covid cases and some pivoting of plans. 

📸: Photos + text by Susan Murphy of @experience_raleigh.
Once again, the biggest party of the night happens in Downtown Raleigh! First Night Raleigh is where it’s at. The folks at Artsplosure are already shining up the acorn and setting up the Ferris Wheel, presenting a delightful arts festival with something for everyone. [keep reading]


There are a few big bashes going on in and around Downtown Raleigh.

NYE Union Station is a ticketed event taking place at one of the most beautiful locations in town – with vast indoor and outdoor spaces — Raleigh Union Station. Dress to impress, then enjoy live DJs and dancing. What’s included depends on the ticket you purchase. (There are packages that include hotel rooms downtown!)
Rocky Top Catering is once again hosting a black-tie bash over four floors of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Your ticket to NYE Gala 2020 includes food, drinks, and live music. Proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test (within 48 hours prior) is required. 

Downtown Raleigh’s fabulous rooftops are always a great place to celebrate – and NYE is no exception. Why not reserve a VIP table at the Botanical Lounge on Glenwood South? New Year’s Eve at The Willard Rooftop at the brand new AC Hotel features a Mediterranean buffet and dancing – not to mention the killer views of the fireworks. (You may as well book a room package!) 

Many of your favorite restaurants are joining in the festivities – or at the very least, have created a special menu. Be sure to book your table in advance. Here is just a sample:

🥂Vidrio on Glenwood South is throwing a bash upstairs in their Fiera Bar & Lounge – as well as offering a special menu in their ground floor restaurant.

🥂 Young Hearts Distilling is hosting a fun, free-flowing event with passed hors d’oeuvres, stationed items, and a variety of beer, wine, and spirits. With live music and a toast at midnight, it’s a bargain at just $120 per ticket.

🥂 New Year’s Eve Greek Night at Taverna Agora features belly dancing, music from The Opa Band, a toast at midnight, and party favors. 

🥂 Wye Hill offers one of the best views in town. And on NYE, they’re offering two different seatings to choose from – both of which include a “decadent” buffet!

Even more restaurant celebrations: [keep reading]


Many bars are celebrating in a special way, such as Fortnight Brewing, Bond Brothers Eastside, Bowstring Brewyard and more: [keep reading]
Before you head out, be sure to check for any policies regarding vaccination status or negative Covid tests.

And as always, be patient with your servers and hospitality professionals, many of whom are even more short-staffed than usual right now. Stay safe, have fun, and have a Happy New Year!

--Susan Murphy, @experience_raleigh
Raleigh jobs: 
Regional Advocate, Help One Now. [listing]

Post a job for $30 on our jobs board + for inclusion in this section. [post]

Submissions must be received by 8 a.m. Monday to run the following Thursday. 
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This is the fifth of the maternity leave editions, publishing weekly on Thursdays. Read more in a previous column: []
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