RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina’s COVID-19 numbers picked up where they left off two weeks ago — and kept right on falling.

New cases in North Carolina dropped by 14 percent, hospital admissions were down 8 percent and the amount of viral particles found in wastewater plunged by 50 percent in the weekly update Wednesday from the state Department of Health and Human Services.

The update included two weeks of data because a technical issue prevented last week’s numbers from being posted.

It shows the continued fading of the surge that was driven by the BA.5 omicron subvariant, which still makes up two-thirds of the samples sequenced by labs across the state.

It helps that the state reported another 280,000 people having received a dose of the new omicron-specific booster. That brought the share of eligible people who have gotten one to 11 percent — an increase of four percentage points in two weeks.

A total of 721,184 people have received a new booster since early September.

The state reported 6,870 new cases during the week of Oct. 16-22, down from the 8,011 during the previous week. The new weekly case count is the smallest since the first full week of April, when 4,933 were reported.

Put another way, the state reported fewer new cases during the past two weeks — 14,881 — than it did in any single week from May 7 to Sept. 24.

The same trend showed up in the state’s hospital admissions, with 601 patients admitted last week — down from 655 the week before. It’s the fewest since May 14, when a total of 524 checked in.

The biggest drop was spotted in the number of particles of the virus observed at wastewater plants — one of the earliest and most reliable signs of a potential surge in the future.

NCDHHS reported an average of 6.8 million particles per person last week — exactly half of what it was a week earlier, and the fewest since mid-April.

The state also says just 3.7 percent of visits to emergency rooms last week were caused by symptoms of COVID — the lowest that rate has been since early May.

NCDHHS also reported another 68 deaths over the past two weeks, bringing the total to 26,953.


(Since Oct. 12)

4,383 first doses

9,675 second doses

266 single-shot J& doses

283,957 new booster doses

297,657 total doses