Number of patients with COVID-19 in NC hospitals hits pandemic record

RALEIGH, N.C. — On Wednesday, North Carolina reported the highest number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

New data released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services showed 4,098 patients in the hospital with the virus. The number is an increase of 107 people since Tuesday’s data. The last time the state came close to Wednesday’s number was on Jan. 13, 2021 when NC reported 3,992 people in the hospital with the virus.

Wednesday’s metric of 25,445 newly reported cases shows a sharp increase from Tuesday’s 17,705 reported cases -- that’s 7,740 new cases reported and a 43.7% increase from the data released 24 hours prior.

The rate of people who tested positive for the virus hit 30.9%, a slight increase from Tuesday’s rate of 30.5%.

There have been 19,763 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.

Channel 9 learned more than 1,000 teachers missed classes last week across the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district.

CMS said 400 substitutes had to fill in and the district also dealt with shortages of nearly 150 cafeteria workers and almost 100 bus drivers.

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.

Dozens of daycares have also been forced to close, leaving families scrambling to find care for their children and return to work.

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

(WATCH BELOW: More schools going back to remote learning as COVID-19 cases rise)