RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Public health officials are reporting another 3,000 new COVID-19 cases in North Carolina.

The state Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday also reported a slight dip in the count of hospitalized patients — the first daily drop in nearly two weeks — and another 43 deaths.

On a day when Pfizer said a booster dose of its vaccine may offer improved protection against the new omicron variant, NCDHHS reported another big number of boosters. Of the 80,000 doses that were added to the count, nearly 70 percent of them were boosters.

Amid concerns about a spike in the weeks that follow Thanksgiving, the 3,294 new cases mark the fifth time in just over a week that the state’s daily case count exceeded 3,000.

That pushed the seven-day average up for the 10th consecutive day. The state is averaging 3,067 cases per day — the most since Oct. 15.

The 1,371 patients in hospitals is five fewer than the total Tuesday — but still marks the first decline of any kind since Nov. 26. The total grew by an average of 30 patients per day during the 11 days that followed.

The 43 deaths pushed the state closer to yet another milestone — its 19,000th death. North Carolina is 77 shy of that total, and could reach it late this week or early next week.


9,001 first doses

14,215 second doses

1,636 single-shot J&J doses

54,987 booster doses

79,839 total doses