banner
Health Team

Holidays compared: NC coronavirus cases on rise, still about half what they were last Thanksgiving

Posted November 24, 2021 2:29 p.m. EST
Updated November 24, 2021 5:50 p.m. EST

On Thanksgiving Day 2020, eight months into the coronavirus pandemic and with vaccine yet to be widely available, North Carolina was averaging 3,663 new cases of COVID-19 daily and 34 deaths.

A year later, with 68% of North Carolina adults fully vaccinated, new cases are 45% lower. Through Wednesday, the rolling, seven-day average of new cases was 1,999. Twenty-three COVID-19 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours and 1,113 people are being treated for the virus in hospitals across the state.

Although vaccinated people who contract COVID-19 generally see fewer symptoms and are much less likely to be hospitalized, the rate of infection remains stubbornly high. About 6% of COVID-19 tests came back positive across the state Tuesday. That's just a single percentage point lower than the positive rate a year ago.

Total COVID-19 cases, deaths by zip code

Loading map...

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services began releasing zip code-level data on cases and deaths on May 1. Search by zip code to find the rates of cases and deaths for your area. Aggregate counts are based on where patients live. DHHS has supressed counts for some zip codes with populations of less than 500 and cases less than five due to privacy concerns. Population estimates for each zip code, included in the state's data, were calculated by Esri Inc. through a state contract. Due to differences in zip code geographies used in a new version of the state's dashboard launched May 20, some case and deaths counts here may differ slightly from that new dashboard. To stay consistent, WRAL is using state data originally published May 1 and updated by DHHS daily through its ArcGIS site. NOTE: As of Sept. 28, the data on this map includes cases and deaths identified both through PCR and antigen tests.

Source: N.C. DHHS
Graphic: Tyler Dukes, WRAL // Get the data

Health experts expect vaccination to prevent a holiday spike like that seen in 2020, when daily new cases soared to 6,192 by Christmas Day and peaked at 8,781 on Jan. 12, 2021.

Data released last week by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services showed unvaccinated people in the state are more 5 times as likely to get coronavirus as those who've been vaccinated. Unvaccinated North Carolinians were also more than 25 times more likely to die from coronavirus when compared to vaccinated people.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.