NORTH CAROLINA — The number of patients fighting COVID-19 in intensive care units across North Carolina is the highest it has been since the start of the year, according to data released by state health officials on Wednesday.
There are currently 2,930 people in North Carolina hospitals because of COVID-19, with 371 being admitted within the past 24 hours.
The last time there were more than 2,900 people hospitalized with COVID was January 28, during the peak of the winter surge.
Of those currently hospitalized, 728 patients are being treated in the intensive care unit -- the highest number of ICU patients at one time since January 22.
Data from the state Department of Health and Human Services shows COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and the share of tests coming back positive at their worst levels in more than six months.
5,256 new cases were reported Wednesday -- an increase of 1,681 cases from the day before.
Despite the leap in new daily positive cases, state health officials reported that the 7-day rolling average has decreased over the last three days.
In all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people wear masks in indoor public settings, even if they’re already vaccinated, due to high transmission rates.
CDC COVID-19 Transmission Levels by U.S. County:
The percentage of positive tests stands at 13.2%, which is slightly less than Tuesday but still more than 8% higher than the state’s goal of 5%.
The NCDHHS reported that nearly 25,000 vaccine doses have been administered so far this week. About 59% of North Carolina’s adult population is fully vaccinated.
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