RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Nearly 3,800 COVID-19 patients are in hospitals across North Carolina and the state reported more than 7,000 new cases for the fourth time in one week.
Even as nearly two-thirds of the state’s adults are now partially vaccinated, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday counted 3,757 hospitalized patients. That marks a one-day increase of 145, along with 7,248 new cases.
With North Carolina in the midst of the delta-driven surge, it marks the third time in 10 days that the patient count in hospitals increased by at least 100 from the previous day. It’s the most since Jan. 20 and is only 235 shy of the peak of 3,992 hospitalized patients on Jan. 14. The seven-day average of 6,904 new cases per day is the highest it’s been since Jan. 20, the last time it exceeded 7,000.
The state also reported 61 deaths, the third time since last Wednesday that at least 60 were reported. Thus brings North Carolina’s total to 14,529.
But, DHHS reported one-point increases in two key vaccination rates: 66 percent of adults have had at least one shot, and 61 percent of them are fully vaccinated.
That brings the state closer to a goal set by Gov. Roy Cooper in April, when he said he planned to lift North Carolina’s indoor mask mandate once two-thirds of adults were partially vaccinated.
He wound up lifting that mask mandate and most other COVID restrictions in mid-May anyway, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in May that fully vaccinated did not need masks in most situations indoors and outdoors. However, that was before the delta variant began spreading across the state and nation, pushing case and hospitalization numbers closer to their pandemic peaks.
- 14,151 first doses
- 1,022 single-shot J&J doses
- 27,629 total doses