CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina health officials reported new records for three COVID-19 metrics Friday, as cases, hospitalizations and test positivity rates all hit pandemic highs.
The Department of Health and Human Services reported 35,759 new cases on Friday. This is a new single-day record, despite the state reporting over 44,000 new cases Thursday. State health officials said the Jan. 13 report included multiple days of data.
Statewide, 4,381 people are hospitalized due to the virus. Hospitalizations have continued on a steady upward trend in recent weeks with multiple single-day records being established. If you're looking for a silver lining to this data, the ventilation rate during the omicron surge is lower than previous spikes, including this past summer's delta variant.
The third new record is the positivity rate, as North Carolina's two-week average is sitting at 29.2%, according to analysis from WCNC Charlotte's Vanessa Ruffes.
On Friday, multiple health care providers announced they would be closing select COVID-19 testing and vaccine clinics in Charlotte over the weekend due to wintry weather. First Warn Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich says Charlotte could see up to 2 inches of snow with an even greater threat of ice, which could lead to widespread power outages and dangerous travel conditions.
The omicron variant is now responsible for nearly all new infections in the U.S., according to CDC estimates. Health officials in the Carolinas say the variant is also showing different symptoms in adults than children. One of the most common symptoms associated with COVID-19, the sudden loss of smell or taste, hasn't been predominant in kids, according to Dr. Amina Ahmed with Levine Children's Hospital.
Instead, Ahmed told WCNC Charlotte doctors are seeing omicron appear more like croup, with kids showing a "barking" cough.
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