RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Officials report a record number of new COVID-19 cases in North Carolina for the second straight day — more than 24,000 of them.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday also said the count of patients in hospitals across the state climbed to nearly 3,300 for the first time since September while the percent of recent tests found to be positive dipped slightly but remained over 30 percent for the second straight day.
The 24,292 new cases added broke the 1-day-old record of 20,770 that was set Wednesday. During the past week, the state averaged more than 17,000 new cases a day — more than twice as high as it was a week ago. North Carolina has added almost twice as many of them in six days in January — more than 100,000 of them — than it did in all of November (about 53,000).
NCDHHS also added about 153,000 new cases in December.
It also said there were 3,293 patients hospitalized — an increase of 194 from the 3,099 on Wednesday. The patient count has nearly doubled since the day after Christmas, when there were 1,738 of them, and has increased by at least 100 on nine of the 11 days since then.
The current total is more than 80 percent of the way to the peak of 3,992 set in January 2021, but the number of those in intensive care has not climbed nearly as fast. There are 635 patients in ICUs — only about two-thirds of the way to the peak of 955 set during the late-summer delta surge.
NCDHHS says 30.1 percent of tests done Tuesday were found to be positive — a slight drop from the 30.9 percent from a day earlier, but still more than six times higher than the state’s target of 5 percent.
The state reported 44 deaths — the second straight day with at least 40 of them — with the total now reaching 19,586.
VACCINE DOSE COUNT:
- 5,491 first doses
- 4,605 second doses
- 224 single-shot J&J doses
- 24,743 booster doses
- 35,063 total doses