COVID-19 in NC: Key early indicator dips to lowest level in 2 months


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — One of the earliest indicators of the COVID-19 pandemic in North Carolina has dropped to its lowest level in nearly two months.

The state Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday said the percentage of emergency department visits for COVID-like symptoms dipped to 10 percent for the week ending Sept. 25.

Public health officials also added more than 7,700 new breakthrough cases and another 82 COVID deaths from Sept. 12-18, according to the agency’s latest weekly respiratory surveillance report.

Cases have been reported by 1.2 percent of the state’s 4.9 million fully vaccinated people, a slight increase from last week when that rate was 1.1 percent.

The report found that unvaccinated people are more than four times more likely than the fully vaccinated to catch COVID, and more than 16 times more likely to die from it — up from 15 1/2 percent a week ago.

The ER rate hadn’t fallen as low as 10 percent since the week that ended Aug. 7, the latest sign of optimism that the surge caused by the delta variant is fading. 

That rate dropped for the third straight week after topping out at a pandemic-high 17 percent on Sept. 4, and fell in each of the state’s eight regions.

CBS 17’s Joedy McCreary has been tracking COVID-19 figures since March 2020, compiling data from federal, state, and local sources to deliver a clear snapshot of what the coronavirus situation looks like now and what it could look like in the future.

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