RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina added another 120,000 new COVID-19 cases over the holiday weekend and arrived at yet another grim milestone — the state’s 20,000th death of the pandemic.

As the omicron variant continues to spread across the globe, the state Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday also reported the record number of patients in hospitals surged past 4,600 and said one-third of the most recent sum of tests confirmed new cases.

The new case count includes nearly 32,000 of them Tuesday — but about 8,000 of those were due to a data glitch.

NCDHHS says nearly 47,000 results — including 8,094 positives — during the past two weeks from Premier Lab Solutions were not added to the count until Tuesday.

It’s the second such glitch in the past week, after about 11,000 positive results from GENETWORx lab from New Year’s Eve through Jan. 11 were not submitted until Jan. 13.

NCDHHS said in a statement on its dashboard that similar delays may occur because labs “are processing unprecedented numbers of COVID-19 tests.”

The state averaged more than 32,000 new cases a day over the past week — roughly 10 times as many as it did just a month ago.

The death total reached 20,000 after NCDHHS added 97 deaths since Friday.

It took slightly longer for the state to record its second 10,000 deaths as compared to its first. A total of 322 days passed between the state’s first recorded death and its 10,000th on Feb. 9, 2021. That was 344 days ago.

The count of patients in hospitals also keeps climbing, with 4,630 people hospitalized — the seventh consecutive day with more than 4,000 patients.

And tests continue to come back positive at a record rate — 33.3 percent of those tests performed Sunday confirmed new cases. That rate has been in the mid-to-high 20s every day this month.

The state released four days worth of numbers that came in during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.


  • 6,619 first doses
  • 4,614 second doses
  • 281 one-shot J&J doses
  • 25,085 booster doses
  • 36,599 total doses