COVID-19 in NC: State reaches another somber milestone with 16,000th death


In this Aug. 31, 2021 file photo, medical professionals surround a 39-year-old unvaccinated COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit (MICU) at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Kyle Green, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina recorded its 16,000th COVID-19 death Thursday, the latest somber milestone in what is shaping up as the pandemic’s deadliest month since January.

Even as several other key numbers showed further signs of stabilizing, the state Department of Health and Human Resources added 71 deaths to bring the total to 16,012 dead in 18 months.

It came as NCDHHS recorded its largest one-day drop in hospitalized COVID-19 patients since late January. The 3,231 people in hospitals were 169 fewer than there were Wednesday.

The state also reported 5,953 new cases. But, the seven-day average dropped to its lowest point in a month, at fewer than 5,800 new cases per day.

The milestone death total comes just two weeks after NCDHHS recorded its 15,000th death. 

A total of 1,077 people so far have died in September alone as the delta variant continues to circulate, with the unvaccinated facing the most severe outcomes. Deaths frequently take days or weeks to be reported to the state, meaning the full September total might not be complete until mid-October.

Now, just 52 percent of the state’s total 10.4 million people are fully vaccinated, and less than half of those between 12-24 years old have received their first shot. That age group made up nearly 40 percent of the cases recorded during the week of Sept. 12, the most recent demographic data available.


  • 8,932 first doses
  • 653 single-shot J&J doses
  • 22,632 total doses

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