RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The number of active COVID-19 outbreaks at North Carolina nursing homes has hit a three-month high.

A total of 269 nursing homes were listed Tuesday on the weekly outbreak list from the state Department of Health and Human Services.

That’s up 13 percent from last week and is the most since Sept. 27, when there were 274.

The rise in outbreaks mirrors the rise across the state and across the nation as case counts begin to reflect viral spread that took place during the winter holidays and the easily transmitted XBB.1.5 omicron variant begins to account for more cases.

The number of nursing homes on the list has gradually increased each week since Thanksgiving, surpassing 200 on Dec. 20 and climbing to 237 last week.

More than two-thirds of the state’s counties are at the highest community level of COVID, according to the most recent color-coded map from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NCDHHS also counts 165 outbreaks at residential care facilities, up 15 percent from last week and the most since Sept. 20, and 15 at correctional facilities — up from 11 last week.