RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina recorded its 2 millionth case of COVID-19 on Friday, with the fast-spreading omicron variant propelling the state to that milestone at staggering speed.

The state Department of Health and Human Services on Friday reported 35,759 new cases — giving the state a total of 2,011,302 since the start of the pandemic.

The count of patients in hospitals hit a record high for the third day in a row, climbing past 4,300, and the state moved within 100 deaths of its 20,000th of the pandemic.

But the most notable number was the case count.

It only took about half as long to get the second million as it did the first. North Carolina recorded its millionth case on May 27, 2021 — just 452 days since the first one came in on March 3, 2020.

The state needed just 232 days to add another million.

A big reason for that: omicron, which has pushed the case counts to stunningly high totals during the post-holiday surge. North Carolina has had at least 10,000 new cases every day in 2022 and averaged nearly 28,000 a day over the past week.

That count Friday was the second-highest of the pandemic, topped only by the nearly 45,000 of them that were reported Thursday.

The record number of people in hospitals climbed to 4,381 — a daily increase of 106, the 16th time in 19 days it grew up at least 100.

The next grim milestone likely ahead is likely to come next week, when the death total figures to surpass 20,000. The state moved 97 shy of it after 53 more were reported Friday to bring the total to 19,903.

NCDHHS will not update its dashboard until Tuesday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday Monday.