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NC health officials report over 17,000 new cases as hospitalizations approach pandemic record

Nearly 4,000 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in North Carolina. The good news is the severity of those cases is down compared to previous surges.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — COVID-19 hospitalizations in North Carolina are now on the threshold of setting a new pandemic high that was established nearly one year ago. 

The Department of Health and Human Services reported 3,991 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 Tuesday, just one short of the all-time record that was set on Jan. 13, 2021. 

To give that number some context, and perhaps a silver lining, the severity of those hospitalizations is down from previous COVID-19 surges. The number of peak ventilated patients (a measure of disease severity) is about 85% of last winter's surge and 62% of peak ventilators during the delta variant surge over this past summer, according to analysis from WCNC Charlotte's Vanessa Ruffes

Credit: WCNC Charlotte graphic

North Carolina health officials reported 17,705 new cases Tuesday with 30.5% of tests coming back positive. As of Tuesday, North Carolina has reported 19,706 deaths due to COVID-19. 

Meanwhile, the state is also dealing with a critical shortage of monoclonal antibody medicine. The federal government hasn't been able to keep up with soaring demand nationwide, leading to patients not receiving the care necessary to recover. 

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“I can tell you as a health care provider and a leader, the concern is as high or higher than it’s ever been,” Dr. Brent McQuaid with Cone Health in Greensboro said. 

A spokesperson for NC DHHS told WFMY News the state has received 978 patient courses of the drug that were distributed to providers statewide.

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