RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Public health officials reported nearly 5,000 new COVID-19 cases in North Carolina — the highest one-day count in nearly three months.

The state Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday also reported the highest daily percent positive since mid-September along with a slight drop in the count of patients in hospitals and 50 more deaths.

The biggest number was the 4,889 new cases added to the total — the most on a single day since Oct. 1. It came two days after NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said the highly contagious omicron variant could cause daily case counts to climb past 10,000.

Wednesday’s total pushed the seven-day average to its highest level since Oct. 6. The state is averaging 3,781 new cases, and that has increased on 22 of the past 24 days.

NCDHHS also reported an uptick in the daily percent positive, saying 10.4 percent of tests performed Monday was found to be positive. That’s the highest that rate has been since Sept. 12, when it was at 12.2 percent.

The 1,680 patients in hospitals was a drop of four from Tuesday’s revised count. The patient count has gone down on just five of the past 26 days, never dropping by more than six patients during that span.

The deaths brought the total to 19,233.

NCDHHS says it will not update its numbers again until Dec. 28 because of the Christmas holiday.


  • 5,401 first doses
  • 5,372 second doses
  • 384 single-shot J&J doses
  • 37,939 booster doses
  • 49,096 total doses