The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Saturday reported the state’s highest one-day total of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 1,107 new cases reported.

The number of cumulative COVID-19 cases statewide rose from 21,618 on Friday to 22,725. The number of deaths rose from 728 to 737. Friday's case total was up more than 700 from Thursday. Deaths on Thursday were at 716.

“This is a notable and concerning increase," DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen said Saturday. "As we head into a holiday weekend, please practice the three Ws — wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash your hands frequently. When it comes to our health, we need to work together to protect our families, friends and neighbors.” 

In Pitt County, the number of cases grew by 12 from Thursday to Friday, going from 230 to 242. On Saturday, the number went up another 12 to 254. The 12-case jumps are among the biggest single-day increases in the county. The state reported a three-case increase from Saturday to Sunday.

Officials have said daily cases totals are likely to climb as testing increases. In addition, the number of positive tests compared to total tests statewide rose to 10 percent on Saturday from a low of 6 percent on Monday.

The percentage of positive cases in Pitt County also has been on the rise. Public Health Director John Silvernail said Thursday the percentage locally had risen from a low of 7 percent to 8 percent. Numbers have not been updated since.

DHHS reports state epidemiologists are analyzing the data to determine if there were any significant contributing factors to the increases.

Contact Bobby Burns at baburns@reflector.com and 329.9572.