RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — New COVID-19 cases in North Carolina fell by nearly 30 percent over the past week.
Hospital admissions were down 14 percent last week and people showed up at emergency rooms with COVID symptoms at the lowest rate since early May, according to the weekly update Wednesday from the state Department of Health and Human Services.
The continued improvement in those numbers reflects the fading of the surge driven by the BA.5 omicron subvariant, which still makes up nearly 80 percent of the samples that were checked by labs across the state.
The agency said nearly another 75,000 people across the state received the bivalent booster specifically designed for that variant, bringing the total to nearly 350,000 — which still accounts for only about 5 percent of the state’s 6.6 million fully vaccinated people.
The only key number to go up was the count of virus particles in wastewater, which rose 6 percent to 12.1 million per person each week — still a fraction of what that number was two weeks ago.
NCDHHS reported 10,940 new cases during the week of Sept. 25-Oct. 1, a drop of 29 percent from the 15,356 that were counted the previous week. Those case numbers are largely considered an undercount because of the prevalence of at-home testing that is not factored into those official case counts.
Still, it’s the smallest weekly case total since the week that ended April 23, when there were just over 10,000 cases.
The state also reported a significant drop in the number of people who checked into hospitals — 834, the fewest since the week ending June 25, when there were 831.
NCDHHS also added another 327 deaths — the vast majority of which were catching up from earlier weeks and months in the pandemic — to bring the total to 26,852.
VACCINE DOSE COUNT
(Since Sept. 28)
3,931 first doses
2,608 second doses
63 single-shot J&J doses
1,536 original boosters
73,712 new boosters
81,850 total doses
CBS 17’s Joedy McCreary has been tracking COVID-19 figures since March 2020, compiling data from federal, state, and local sources to deliver a clear snapshot of what the coronavirus situation looks like now and what it could look like in the future.