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NC sets another COVID-19 record with over 19,000 positive cases Friday

Friday's report of 19,174 was a new single-day high for positive tests since the pandemic began.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For the second consecutive day, North Carolina health officials reported a single-day record for new COVID-19 infections Friday, with 19,174 cases being reported. 

The Department of Health and Human Services reported 18,571 positive cases on Thursday. The previous high was 11,581 in January. NCDHHS also reported a record number of ER visits, with over 4,100 people heading to North Carolina emergency rooms with COVID-like symptoms. 

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With Friday's numbers, North Carolina is now averaging roughly 7,000 new cases per day over the last two weeks. That's an 86% increase from one week ago and surpassing the surge this past summer due to the delta variant.

Daily positivity rates for this week indicate that roughly 1 in 5 people in North Carolina are testing positive for COVID-19. The two-week average is just over 13% and is approaching the record rate for North Carolina, which is around 14%. 

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COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by 145 on Friday. There's been a steady trend of hospitalizations increasing by about 100 or more each day this week, according to analysis from WCNC Charlotte's Vanessa Ruffes.

While data suggests the omicron variant may cause less severe illness for those who are vaccinated, NCDHHS says those who are unvaccinated or have underlying medical conditions are at the highest risk of severe illness and hospitalization. 

“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,” incoming NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley said. “Everyone can help save lives and protect hospital capacity by getting vaccinated if you haven’t already and getting boosted if you are eligible.”  

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The omicron variant is also driving a surge in South Carolina. State health officials reported a new single-day record for cases with 8,882 on Friday. 

WCNC Charlotte is part of seven major media companies and other local institutions reporting on and engaging the community around the problems and solutions as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a project of the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, which is supported by the Local Media Project, an initiative launched by the Solutions Journalism Network with support from the Knight Foundation to strengthen and reinvigorate local media ecosystems. See all of our reporting at charlottejournalism.org.  

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