COVID-19 in NC: ICUs continue filling across the state, nearly reach pandemic peak

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Intensive care units across North Carolina have nearly filled to their pandemic peak.

More than a month into the delta-driven COVID-19 surge across the state, Department of Health and Human Services data Tuesday showed ICUs across the state were 87.2 percent full.

That’s 0.2 of a percentage point away from the peak of 87.4 percent on Aug. 17. 

Eleven of the 12 days with the highest ICU occupancy rates have come in the past two weeks. 

The state’s ICU units have been at least 80 percent full every day for three weeks.

DHHS reported just 297 empty ICU beds Tuesday, seven more than there were at the low a week earlier.

It comes as officials from the Triangle’s three main health care providers — Duke Health, UNC Health and WakeMed — scheduled a news conference Wednesday morning to discuss the strains hospitals are facing and ways to alleviate that surge.

Statewide, they are admitting more than three times as many people per day than they did a month ago, admitting an average of 377 new patients per day over the past week. That seven-day average was just 102 on July 23.

That average is the highest it’s been since Jan. 23 when it was 378 and declining after the peak two weeks earlier.

DHHS on Tuesday also reported more than 3,300 hospitalized patients for the first time since January.

CBS 17’s Joedy McCreary has been tracking COVID-19 figures since March 2020, compiling data from federal, state and local sources to deliver a clear snapshot of what the coronavirus situation looks like now and what it could look like in the future.

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