RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The number of new COVID-19 cases in North Carolina dropped for the third straight week even as hospital admissions continued to tick up.

The weekly update Wednesday by the state Department of Health and Human Services included the highest single-day count of patients in hospitals in three months, the smallest count of booster doses given since the agency started reporting its data weekly and drops in other key measures state leaders now track.

The state reported just over 23,000 new cases from June 5-11 — a drop of about 10 percent, or 2,500, from the preceding week. Cases fell by 9 percent and 7 percent in each of the two preceding weeks.

Those cases are almost certainly undercounts, though, because of the prevalence of at-home testing that is rarely included in those official case counts.

Among cases recorded by NCDHHS, the vast majority during the past week came from traditional PCR tests as opposed to the fraction of rapid antigen tests that do wind up being submitted.

The state also reported 11 percent more people admitted to hospitals last week, counting 925 of them compared to 836 the previous week. And the daily running count on June 9 surpassed 800 for the first time since mid-March.

NCDHHS also reported noticeable drops in two other measures that make up part of its monitoring effort, saying the count of viral particles in wastewater dropped by 17 percent and people were going to emergency rooms with symptoms of COVID at a lower rate — 4 percent, after that rate was 5 percent a week earlier.

State leaders also reported fewer than 32,000 booster doses of vaccine. While boosters continue to make up roughly three-quarters of all doses given, that raw total is the smallest total since the state went to a weekly reporting system in late March.

A total of 25,140 people have died of COVID-19 during the pandemic after state leaders added 46 deaths to the running total.

VACCINE DOSE COUNT

  • (Since June 8)
  • 5,682 first doses
  • 4,628 second doses
  • 245 single-shot J&J doses
  • 31,873 booster doses
  • 42,428 total doses