RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A record number of COVID-19 patients — more than 4,000 of them — are in North Carolina hospitals.

The state Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that there were 4,098 people hospitalized with the virus almost exactly a year after the previous record was set.

With the full impact of both holiday gatherings and the spread of the omicron variant during them being felt, NCDHHS also counted more than 25,000 new cases for the third time in less than a week, added 57 deaths and announced yet another day with at least 30 percent of the most recent batch of tests coming back positive.

The biggest number is the count of hospitalized patients, which topped 4,000 for the first time after it increased by 107 from Tuesday.

That pushed it past the previous high of 3,991 set on Jan. 14, 2021, during last year’s winter surge.

The current total increased for the 17th consecutive day and has gone up by at least 100 patients on 14 of those days.

But the counts of those in intensive care and on ventilators remain a fraction of their pandemic highs set during the delta surge in September. There were 717 patients in ICUs — only about three-quarters of the maximum — and 443 on ventilators — less than two-thirds of the highest total.

The 25,445 new cases mark the third-highest single-day total. Each of the six days with the most new cases have all taken place since last Wednesday — which pushed the seven-day average to another record high.

The state averaged nearly 24,000 new cases per day over the past week.With 30.9 percent of tests taken Monday confirming positive cases, it marked the fifth time in six days that rate exceeded 30 percent.

North Carolina also moved closer to another grim milestone — its 20,000th death — with the current total climbing to 19,763.


5,161 first doses

4,401 second doses

169 single-shot J&J doses

20,972 booster doses

30,703 total doses