RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The number of COVID-19 patients in North Carolina hospitals is down for the first time in nearly two weeks.

The state Department of Health and Human Services on Friday reported 5,084 hospitalized patients — the largest one-day drop since October.

NCDHHS also reported nearly 23,000 new cases — the third straight day with at least 20,000 — along with another 78 deaths and yet another day when more than 30 percent of tests confirmed COVID cases.

But the most significant number was the decline in the hospitalized patient count, the first since Jan. 17.
The total climbed for 10 consecutive days, setting the record for the most patients each day, before topping out at 5,201 on Thursday.

The drop of 117 patents was the largest single-day decline since Oct. 15, when it fell by 130 as the delta surge waned.

The state’s average number of new cases is at its lowest point in nearly three weeks. North Carolina averaged 23,159 cases per day over the past week. That’s the fewest since Jan. 9 and is down 28 percent from the peak of more than 32,000 on Jan. 18.

NCDHHS says 30.4 percent of the tests done Wednesday were positive, continuing a monthlong trend. That rate has been at roughly 30 percent — or, six times higher than health leaders prefer — for nearly every day in January.

The state also reported at least 70 deaths for the third straight day. That raised the total to 20,595.

VACCINE DOSE COUNT

  • 3,598 first doses
  • 4,290 second doses
  • 155 single-shot J&J doses
  • 12,005 booster doses
  • 20,048 total doses