RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — New COVID-19 cases in North Carolina climbed more than 60 percent in a week.

In a sign that Thanksgiving-related spread is beginning to show up in the state’s numbers, more than 11,000 new cases were reported Wednesday in the latest weekly update from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Hospital admissions were up 22 percent during the week from Nov. 27-Dec. 3, and the count of COVID particles in wastewater rose by nearly 18 percent. People also visited emergency rooms for COVID-like symptoms at a slightly higher rate.

The state also added another 162 deaths to the running total, bringing it to 27,533. 

The BA.5 omicron variant continued to lose ground to newer, more adaptable variants. It accounts for less than a third of the samples sequenced by labs across the state from Nov. 13-26. The B.Q.1.1 subvariant makes up nearly 30 percent of those samples, while B.Q.1 accounts for 12.5 percent.

The sharp increases came a week after those numbers rose only incrementally.

The 11,055 new cases came after that number was in the 6,000s for three consecutive weeks. The 64 percent jump pushed the weekly total to its highest point since the week that ended Oct. 1.

A total of 653 COVID patients were admitted to hospitals, up from the 534 a week earlier. And 4 percent of people who showed up at ERs across the state did so because of COVID-like symptoms, up slightly from 3.8 percent the week before.

The state also counted an average of 13.4 million COVID particles per person shed in wastewater — up from the 11.4 million a week ago. That number was at 6 million a week before that.


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.