Highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in a year reported in NC

RALEIGH, N.C. — New data released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday show a record amount of patients in the hospital with COVID-19 as most other metrics decline.

According to the NCDHHS, 3,991 people were hospitalized Tuesday with the virus -- an increase of 141 people since Monday. That number has only been topped once during the whole pandemic -- on Jan. 13, 2021, almost one year ago.

On Monday, the state’s case total dropped below 19,000 for the first time since Dec. 30. Tuesday’s metric of 17,705 newly reported cases continued the downward trend.

The rate of people who tested positive for the virus hit 30.5%, which isn’t much of a change from Monday’s report of 31.1%.

There have been 19,706 deaths in the state from the virus.

School districts across the state have been forced to make adjustments amid the latest wave of the pandemic.

The Burke County School District closed two schools in the county for at least a week after more than half of staff and students caught COVID-19 or had to quarantine after an exposure, officials said.

On Monday, the district announced that North Liberty School in Morganton would be closed beginning Jan. 11 until at least Jan. 18. Last week, Hallyburton Academy in Drexel was shut down as COVID-19 cases surged at the school.

The Burke County school board voted Monday night to make masks mandatory again for all students and staff after the two schools were forced to close.

The Cabarrus County Board of Education voted 4 to 3 on Monday night to reinstate its mask mandate for students and staff amid the surge in COVID-19 positive cases across the Carolinas and nationwide. The mandate goes into effect Wednesday and will last until Jan. 24.

As of Jan. 10, NCDHHS presumed more than 1.6 million patients had recovered from the virus.

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