RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — New COVID-19 cases in North Carolina climbed by more than 30 percent during the past week after public health leaders reported more than 23,000 of them.

The state Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday also counted the highest number of hospitalized COVID patients in nearly two months.

The increases in the counts of patients and new cases mark the latest evidence that the state is experiencing yet another surge of the virus. NCDHHS reports data every Wednesday for the preceding calendar week, and the newest numbers cover the period from May 8-14.

Included in the 23,021 new cases — which is almost certainly an undercount, because of the rise in at-home tests that aren’t reported to the state — is the highest single-day count since Feb. 14, a total of 4,138 on May 9.

Wake County saw 43 percent more new cases last week than it did the week before — 5,300 of them. In Cumberland County, the increase was 40 percent.

The state averaged nearly 3,300 new cases a day during that week — a week-over-week increase of 31 percent, and an increase of 210 percent since April 14.

NCDHHS reported a total of 524 COVID patients in hospitals on May 14, up nearly 20 percent from the previous week and the largest raw count since March 25.

The death total grew to 24,621 after the state added 33 deaths during that week.

NCDHHS is keeping its focus on several other measures, and most are slightly up from last week — including the count of COVID viral particles in wastewater, and the rate at which visits to emergency rooms were for COVID-like symptoms. That rate reached 4 percent last week for the first time since late February.

The state also reported a one-point increase in the rate that eligible people have received at least one booster shot, up to 55 percent.

VACCINE DOSE COUNT

(Since May 11)

  • 6,401 first doses
  • 4,912 second doses
  • 336 single-shot J&J doses
  • 38,121 booster doses
  • 49,770 total doses