COVID-19 in NC: Massive drop in count of patients in hospitals; 133 deaths reported


FILE – In this Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 file photo, a nurse loads a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Jackson, Miss. Millions of Americans are now eligible to receive a Pfizer booster shot to help increase their protection against the worst effects of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Public health officials are reporting one of the largest one-day drops in hospitalized COVID-19 patients on record, even as the state moved closer to yet another solemn milestone.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday reported 2,586 patients in hospitals across the state, 119 fewer than there were a day earlier.

NCDHHS also reported 3,598 new cases — the fourth consecutive day with fewer than 4,000 of them — and 133 deaths. The drop in the patient count marked its second-largest single-day decrease since February, exceeded only by a drop of 161 on Sept. 26.

There are also fewer COVID-19 patients in intensive care, with that count falling by more than 20 percent since Sept. 26 and dropping to 702 on Wednesday. It marked the fourth consecutive Wednesday with at least 100 deaths reported and brought the total to 16,945.

The state is on pace to reach its 17,000th death reported by Thursday. That would come exactly two weeks after the state recorded its 16,000th death — which itself came exactly two weeks after the 15,000th death was reported.

The case count dropped the seven-day average to nearly half of what it was at the delta peak. The state averaged 3,816 new cases each day over the past week — down significantly from the 7,285 it averaged at the peak.

State public health officials also said 63 percent of people eligible to receive the vaccine — those 12 and older — are now fully vaccinated, an increase of one percentage point since Tuesday.


  • 10,031 first doses
  • 559 one-shot J&J doses
  • 21,498 total doses

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