RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Fewer than 1,000 COVID-19 patients were admitted into North Carolina hospitals last week, the smallest number in two months.

The numbers of new cases and the rate at which people visited emergency rooms for COVID symptoms also continued to fall, while the count of viral particles in wastewater held relatively steady according to the weekly update Wednesday from the state Department of Health and Human Services.

The update that covered the week from Aug. 28-Sept. 3 also illustrated just how much the vaccination effort has slowed.

Only 5,054 booster doses were given that week. That’s less than half as many as were added during the previous week — which itself was the smallest total since the state’s shift to a weekly reporting schedule in the spring.

Hospital admissions were down 10 percent while new cases were down 8 percent, and those viral particles ticked up by 4 percent.

The continued improvement–or stabilization–in those numbers provided further evidence that the summer surge driven by the BA.5 omicron subvariant may be waning. That variant makes up 82 percent of the samples sequenced at labs across the state.

The state counted 996 people as being admitted to hospitals with COVID last week — down from the 1,103 checking in during the previous week, and the fewest since the week ending July 9, when there were 981.

The running count of patients in hospitals also continued its downturn, dipping to 1,003 as of Sept. 3 — the smallest number since July 10.

NCDHHS also reported fewer than 20,000 new cases for the first time in nearly four months, with the 19,638 cases the smallest number since the week that ended May 7.

That weekly total included the smallest single-day case count since May 1, with just 1,527 new cases reported Sept. 3.

Public health officials have warned that those case numbers are almost certainly undercounts because so much testing is done at home and is not included in those counts.

The death total climbed to 26,365 after another 30 deaths were added last week.

VACCINE DOSE COUNT

(Since Aug. 31)

4,158 first doses

3,199 second doses

76 single-shot J&J doses

5,054 booster doses

12,487 total doses