RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Public health leaders in North Carolina reported massive drops in all four primary COVID-19 indicators, with each dipping to its lowest level since the spring.

New cases fell 16 percent, hospital admissions were down by 10 percent and the number of COVID particles in wastewater plunged by nearly 30 percent, according to the weekly update Wednesday from the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Those numbers have continued to improve every week as the surge driven by the BA.5 omicron subvariant continues to fade rapidly. That strain represents more than three quarters of the samples sequenced by labs across the state from Sept. 18-Oct. 1.

It helps that the share of vaccinated people receiving the new omicron-specific booster shot increased to 7 percent after the addition of more than 87,000 doses given.

NCDHHS reported 9,335 new cases during the week of Oct. 2-8, the first week with fewer than 10,000 of them since the week that ended April 16.

The state also said 750 people were admitted to hospitals last week, down from 839 a week earlier to the lowest level since the last full week of May.

The biggest drop came in the count of particles of the virus that showed up in sewage water, considered a key early indicator. The average of 8.5 million per person last week — a drop of 28 percent — fell to its lowest level since the week ending April 13.

And 3.7 percent of visits to emergency departments across the state were for symptoms of COVID — a drop of nearly a full percentage point from last week. It’s the lowest that rate has been since the week of May 7.

State officials added another 33 deaths, bringing the total for the pandemic to 26,885.


(Since Oct. 5)

  • 2,845 first doses
  • 2,423 second doses
  • 66 single-shot J&J doses
  • 910 old boosters
  • 87,533 new boosters
  • 93,777 total doses