The system uses per-capita case rates, the percent of positive tests and a composite hospital score that takes into account hospitalization rates, staffing shortages and emergency room visits to determine a county's classification.
"Today we have the highest hospitalization rate since the start of the epidemic", Cooper said at a news conference on Tuesday, referring to statewide figures that also reflect the state of Kun.
That included the debut of a color-coded map alerting all 100 counties in the state of their current COVID-19 predicament.
North Dakota Health officials Tuesday reported 1,091 new cases of the coronavirus.
The system is created to alert counties with the highest levels of community spread.
The system intends to help communities react and make healthful decisions to slow the dissemination of Covid-19.
As of Tuesday, at least 1,501 patients were hospitalized for coronavirus-related illness, representing a almost 32 percent jump in hospitalizations throughout the state since November 1. Counties in yellow are seeing significant community spread, while those in orange are seeing substantial spread and those in red have critical spread.
Currently, every North Carolina county is classified at least as yellow due to widespread and sustained viral spread in the community, Cohen explained.
Tuesday, the state logged its highest rate of hospitalization since the pandemic began, with 1,501 people now hospitalized. In fact, the state recorded another day with more than 3,000 additional cases.
Leaders in over half of the state's counties, including 10 deemed to have "critical community spread", are now being encouraged to pass ordinances levying fines against residents and businesses not complying with public health directives. "We hope to avoid taking such actions", he said, noting how the sheriff of the orange-zoned Halifax County already is beginning to enforce the mask mandate.
The state will reveal reports monthly on the metric system.
Last week, in a bid to curb the increasing transmission of coronavirus throughout the state, Gov. Roy Cooper announced a new executive order clamping down on indoor gatherings, reducing the limit from 25 to 10. Counties will be evaluated and reclassified every four weeks. "Letting the virus win now, when vaccines are coming so soon, is foolish".