RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina added 105 COVID-19 deaths to its running total — the largest single-day increase since October — and reported a record number of patients in hospitals for the ninth straight day.

The state Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday also added more than 20,000 new cases and said 5,090 people were hospitalized with the virus.

The number of deaths reported was the most in a 24-hour span since Oct. 6, when there were 133, and pushed the death total to 20,440.

There can be a lag of several days between when a person dies and when that death is reported to the state. And a rise in deaths was not unexpected — even with the omicron variant considered milder on average than other variants — simply because of the sheer number of cases and the record number of people hospitalized.

The count of patients in hospitals continued to surge, surpassing the record set Tuesday by 35. It increased for the ninth straight day, climbing by an average of 69 each day.

The 20,286 new cases reported by NCDHHS came after consecutive days in the 10,000s and caused the seven-day average to tick back above 25,000 after briefly falling below that level. The state averaged 25,101 new cases a day over the past week.

A slight glimmer of hope, though: The state says 32.4 percent of tests performed Monday confirmed new cases. While still more than six times higher than the target of 5 percent, that’s the lowest the daily percent positive has been since tests done on Jan. 15, when 28.1 percent of them were positive.

VACCINE DOSE COUNT
3,495 first doses
4,359 second doses
207 single-shot J&J doses
11,532 booster doses
19,593 total doses