RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina reached its latest milestone of the pandemic, recording its 18,000th COVID-19 death.
On a day when the count of patients in hospitals and the average number of new cases continued their monthlong drops, the state Department of Health and Human Services on Friday added another 73 deaths to bring the total to 18,050.
But the pace of reaching those milestones has slowed. It took more than three weeks for the state to climb from 17,000 deaths to 18,000, with the previous one coming on Oct. 7.
That came after the state reached a benchmark every two weeks, recording its 15,000th death on Sept. 9 and its 16,000th on Sept. 23.
NCDHHS also reported 2,366 new cases, which dropped the seven-day average down to nearly 2,000 — its lowest point since July 28.
The number of patients in hospitals fell for the 35th straight day, with 1,335 of them representing a drop of 52 from the previous day.
State leaders say just 4.4 percent of the tests performed Wednesday came back positive, the fifth time in eight days that measure was lower than 5 percent — the key benchmark cited by NCDHHS and the World Health Organization.
VACCINE DOSE COUNT
5,368 first doses
572 single-shot J&J doses
14,329 total doses