RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — State public health officials saw more COVID-19 particles in sewage and new cases across North Carolina — but no corresponding increase in hospital admissions.

The weekly update Wednesday from the state Department of Health and Human Services showed the two main hospital trends — visits to emergency rooms for COVID-like symptoms, and patient admissions — remaining relatively flat.

NCDHHS says 2 percent of ER visits during the week of April 10-16 were for symptoms of COVID — the sixth consecutive week that rate has been at 2 percent.

The agency says the 7,279 new cases during that week was up from the fewer than 5,000 that were reported the week before. And the roughly 5.1 million particles found at dozens of treatment plants across the state are more than double the 2.1 million from the previous week.

Case numbers have been on the rise recently as the BA.2 “stealth omicron” variant has become the dominant strain.

State public health officials say 79 percent of the samples that were genetically sequenced last week at labs across North Carolina were determined to be the BA.2 variant. But those labs only sequenced a total of 38 samples that week.

Every county in North Carolina was either green, with low risk of strain on the healthcare system, or yellow, with a medium risk, on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated map.

The agency’s weekly update of the other COVID statistics showed many of the same trends: An increase in the number of new cases but flat hospitalizations.

The data update runs through last Saturday, when the state averaged about twice as many new cases per day as it did two weeks earlier. The seven-day average on April 16 was 1,040 — more than double the 441 it averaged on April 2.

But the count of patients in hospitals held relatively steady, ranging between 340 and 400 every day for the past two weeks.

The state also reported 29 more deaths over the past week, bringing the total to 23,363.


(From April 14-20)

6,056 first doses

5,429 second doses

277 single-shot J&J boosters

46,936 booster doses

58,698 total doses