COVID-19 in NC: More records with 20,000+ new cases, percent positive over 30%


FILE – A man is swabbed for COVID-19 at a walk-up testing site at Farragut Square on Dec. 23, 2021, just blocks from the White House in Washington. The explosive increase in U.S. coronavirus case counts is raising alarm, but some experts believe the focus should instead be on COVID-19 hospital admissions. And those aren’t climbing as fast. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File )

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Public health officials reported more than 20,000 new COVID-19 cases in North Carolina for the first time.

The state Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday also reported a record rate of the most recent batch of COVID tests coming back positive — nearly 32 percent — along with a count of hospitalized patients that continues to climb to nearly 3,100.

The 20,770 new cases are more than twice as many as the count reported Tuesday, and mark the fourth time in seven days that a single-day record was set as the fast-spreading omicron variant sweeps across the nation.

The previous record of 19,620 new cases was set Saturday.

There already have been roughly half as many new cases reported in five days of January (approximately 77,000) than there were in all of December (nearly 153,000).

The state’s record-high seven-day average surged past 16,000 for the first time and has tripled in just over a week. North Carolina averaged 5,294 cases per day on Dec. 28.

NCDHHS says 31.8 percent of tests performed Monday were found to be positive, the seventh consecutive day it reached a record high.

There were 3,099 COVID patients in hospitals across the state, up 115 from the revised total Tuesday. That total has nearly doubled in 11 days after it was at 1,738 on Dec. 26, increasing by an average of 136 since then.

Another 48 deaths were reported, bringing the total to 19,542.


  • 4,953 first doses
  • 4,453 second doses
  • 178 single-shot J&J doses
  • 22,869 booster doses
  • 32,453 total doses

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