RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina has recorded its 3 millionth case of COVID-19, reaching its latest milestone as the latest surge caused several key measures to continue to climb.

The weekly Wednesday update from the state Department of Health and Human Services included nearly 32,000 new cases — one of the few metrics that actually ticked down from the previous week — and pushed the total case count since March 2020 to 3,016,395.

The surge being driven by the BA.5 omicron subvariant — which accounted for 59 percent of samples sequenced by labs during the most recent week of available data — caused several other metrics to keep going up.

Hospital admissions reached their peak since mid-February, the count of COVID particles in wastewater rose by 13 percent and the percentage of emergency-room visits for COVID symptoms climbed past 7 percent for the first time since February.

A total of 1,350 people were admitted to hospitals during the week of July 24-30, an increase of 5 percent from the 1,289 who checked in during the previous week.

And the running total of hospitalized patients reached its highest point since March 3, with a total of 1,319 people hospitalized July 30.

That came as the total case count of 31,848 last week actually dropped 4 percent from the 33,159 that came in during the week of July 17-23. Those numbers are almost certainly undercounts because so much testing is being done at home with rapid antigen tests that are not reported to public health officials.

A total of 25,687 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded after state officials added another 204.


(Since July 27)

7,798 first doses

5,398 second doses

126 single-shot J&J doses

21,649 booster doses

34,971 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.