RALEIGH — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) reported the highest one-day number of COVID-19 cases on its COVID-19 dashboard Thursday.
The NCDHHS is closely monitoring hospital capacity and is urging North Carolinians to gather safely, get vaccinated and boosted, and wear a mask indoors in public places.
The number of individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19 has nearly doubled since the beginning of December.
“We are concerned that even a very small proportion of these cases ending up in the hospital could overwhelm our hospital system and increase the loss of lives of those most vulnerable,” said incoming NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “Everyone can help save lives and protect hospital capacity by getting vaccinated if you haven’t already and getting boosted if you are eligible.”
Statewide, 18,571 positive tests for COVID-19 were reported, 60% higher than the previous record of 11,581 set in January 2021. The number of people visiting the emergency room for COVID-like illness also set a record at 4,171.
Data suggests that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 may cause less severe illness for people who are vaccinated. However, those who are unvaccinated or who have underlying medical conditions are at highest risk of severe illness and hospitalization. 89% of people in intensive care are unvaccinated.
While two new COVID-19 medications have received emergency approval and are available free on prescription to those at most risk of severe illness, the treatment supply is extremely limited.
Hospitalizations are likely to increase as the trend typically lags four to five days after an increase in cases.
Health officials continue to recommend vaccinations as the best protection from severe illness, hospitalization and death from all COVID-19 variants.
Record demand for testing means people have to plan ahead. Click here to find available testing sites.
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