Worst since February: Hospital patient count, new COVID-19 case average reach 6-month highs in NC


Juan Carlos Guerrero, 62 holds his second shot reminder card as he speaks to a healthcare worker after having received a dose of the Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, Wednesday, March 17, 2021, at the Miami-Dade County Tropical Park vaccination site in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in North Carolina and the average number of new cases have both reached six-month highs.

The state Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,304 patients in hospitals Wednesday, the most since Feb. 9, and the third straight day with an increase of more than 100.

There have been 15 days when the day-over-day increase in hospitalized patients was more than 100. Five of them have come in the past week.

It comes as officials at hospitals in the Triangle say they are dealing with high numbers of patients.

The number of COVID-19 patents in intensive care units increased for the 25th consecutive day, with 586 patients in ICUs — up 29 from Tuesday, when DHHS reported a single-day-record jump of 54.

The DHHS also reported 4,963 new cases, the fifth time in seven days with at least 4,000 of them. That has pushed the seven-day average to 4,655 — the highest it has been since it was 5,405, also on Feb. 9.

The DHHS says 12.8 percent of tests performed Monday in North Carolina came back positive. That’s a slight drop from 13.9 percent, but still the 10th consecutive day it has been at least 10 percent. That’s double the target set by the state and the World Health Organization.

There were also 22 deaths reported, raising the state’s total to 13,790.

The key vaccination percentages held steady, with 60 percent of all people eligible to get the vaccine — those 12-years-old and older — have gotten at least one shot, with 55 percent fully vaccinated. Additionally, 62 percent of adults are at least partially vaccinated, while 58 percent of them are fully vaccinated.


  • 9,438 first doses
  • 933 one-shot J&J doses
  • 15,054 total doses

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