RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Most of the key COVID-19 numbers North Carolina tracks remained on the way down.

Public health leaders Wednesday reported drops in the numbers of new cases, hospital admissions and visits to emergency rooms with symptoms of COVID, according to the latest weekly update from the state Department of Health and Human Services.

The state added 492 more deaths to the running total of 26,335. But the overwhelming majority of those were backdated throughout the pandemic’s previous weeks and months. A total of 36 people died during the week of Aug. 20-27.

Hospital admissions were down 11 percent last week while cases fell for the fourth consecutive week, dipping 5 percent, providing the latest evidence that the surge driven by the BA.5 subvariant is continuing to wane.

That variant accounted for four of every five samples sequenced during the past two weeks by labs across the state.

The most notable drop was the number of people checking into hospitals, which fell for the third consecutive week. The 1,120 new admissions marked the fewest since mid-July.

Meanwhile, the running total of hospitalized patients dipped to its lowest point since July 10. There were a total of 1,013 people in hospitals on Aug. 27.

The state reported 20,855 new cases, down from the more than 22,000 that came in a week ago, though that is almost certainly an undercount because of the prevalence of at-home testing that does not factor into those case counts.

Data shows 16 percent of those new cases were reinfections, continuing a trend that has become evident over the past several months.

NCDHHS also says 5.3 percent of emergency-room visits last week were for COVID symptoms, down from more than 6 percent a week earlier.

Another key early indicator — the amount of viral particles in wastewater — remained flat, at about 20 million particles per person over the course of the week.

But for the second straight week, the number of doses was the smallest since NCDHHS began reporting those total weekly in the spring. There were fewer than 22,000 total doses and fewer than 12,000 booster doses given.

VACCINE DOSE COUNT

(Since Aug. 24)

5,841 first doses

4.467 second doses

129 single-shot J&J doses

11,399 booster doses

21,836 total doses


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.