RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina’s experiencing a massive jump in new COVID-19 cases, with nearly 1,000 new cases reported on Wednesday. That’s the most new cases reported since May.
Health experts said the jump in cases could partly come from the Fourth of July holiday weekend, but it’s the Delta variant they’re mainly pointing to.
The Delta variant is spreading across the planet.
Average daily deaths about doubled in the UK since the it became dominant, and cases are about 12 times what they were.
The variant also fueled a 50% jump in cases in more than half the U.S.
“It’s not like this was something that was unforeseen, and I have to be honest, it’s going to continue and it’s going to get worse,” said Dr. David Wohl, UNC-Chapel Hill professor of medicine.
The most recent data shows the Delta variant made up about 13% of cases a month ago in North Carolina.
Wohl said they can track other variants’ histories to get an idea of what Delta’s pace could be.
“This is more aggressive, so if you had say 13% a month ago — probably a week or so later, you’re talking about 26% and then a week or so later, you’re talking about doubling that,” said Wohl.
Meaning, he expects the Delta variant to be dominant here soon.
“I’m hopeful it won’t get much, much, much worse, but I really am worried we’re going to start to see some real surges here,” said Wohl.
He said our vaccines are showing they offer strong protection against the Delta variant.
“The vast majority of people being hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated people,” said Wohl. “The danger of the Delta variant is so much greater than any perceived danger of the vaccine.”