COVID-19 in NC: Nearly 4,000 more new cases added but slight dip in patients in hospitals

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FILE – A member of the Philadelphia Fire Department prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site setup in Philadelphia, on March 26, 2021. A government advisory panel is meeting Thursday, Dec. 16, to determine if any restrictions are needed to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine because of rare but serious blood clots. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Public health officials have added nearly 4,000 more new COVID-19 cases in North Carolina.

The state Department of Health and Human Services on Friday also reported a slight drop in the count of COVID patients in hospitals and 21 more deaths.

With the threat of the new omicron variant looming — the confirmed omicron case count in the state has grown to four — and with officials concerned about yet another coming winter wave, a total of 3,980 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours. 

Two of the three days in December with the highest case counts came in the past two days, after 4,165 were reported Thursday.

That has pushed the daily average to its highest point since Oct. 12. The state averaged 3,255 new cases each day over the past week.

The 1,584 patients in hospitals mark a drop of 24 from Thursday’s total and represent a bit of leveling: The patient count has dropped on four of the past six days, after climbing on each of the 15 days that preceded that stretch.

A total of 19,121 people have died.

Booster shots continue to make up the bulk of the doses given lately: More than 70 percent of the over 51,000 doses added to the state’s total were boosters, marking the fourth consecutive day that percentage was at 70 percent or higher.

The pace of vaccinations among kids between 5 and 11 has slowed considerably: Just 17 percent of children in that age group have gotten their first shot — an increase of just three percentage points over the past two weeks.

VACCINE DOSE COUNT:

  • 5,656 first doses.
  • 8,059 second doses.
  • 1,106 single-shot J&J doses.
  • 36,577 booster doses.
  • 51,398 total doses.

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