RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Fewer than 3,000 North Carolinians are hospitalized with COVID-19, the first time it has dipped below that level in six weeks.
The state Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday said 2,943 patients were in hospitals with the virus — the sixth consecutive day with a drop. The patient count has fallen by 416 during that span.
Hospitalizations are down 23 percent during the three weeks since peaking at 3,815 on Sept. 9.
NCDHHS also reported fewer than 4,800 new cases along with 80 more deaths — nearly half as many as it reported Wednesday when the 159 marked the highest single-day total since February.
It also reported its lowest daily percent positive in more than two months, with 7.7 percent of tests performed Tuesday coming back positive — the lowest since that figure was 6.9 percent based on tests done July 22.
The 4,765 new cases marked the fourth day in a row with fewer than 5,000 after surpassing that number on 21 of the first 26 days of September.
The seven-day average number of cases continued to drop, dipping to its lowest level since Aug. 11.
The death total increased to 16,524, with nearly 10 percent of those people — 1,551 — dying in September, the pandemic’s deadliest month since January.
Only one vaccination percentage ticked up in the past 24 hours, with 88 percent of North Carolinians 65 or older now fully vaccinated — up one point from Wednesday.
6,651 first doses
500 single-shot J&J doses
16,519 total doses