More people decide to get their shot as NC coronavirus cases, hospitalizations soar to highest level since winter
Posted August 13, 2021 1:00 p.m. EDT
Updated August 13, 2021 8:24 p.m. EDT
In the last 24 hours, North Carolina reported over 6,600 new coronavirus cases and nearly 2,500 hospitalizations -- the most in the state since Feb. 4.
The number of people who tested positive for coronavirus on Friday is more than the population of Carolina Beach, and nearly as many people as the population of Zebulon. It's the highest number we've seen since late January.
Cases were 12 times higher on Friday than they were a month ago.
- Locations, phone numbers to get your COVID shot in central NC
- Masks required again in Raleigh starting Friday night
Twenty new deaths were also reported Friday, and the rate of positive cases is at 11.6%, a slight increase from Thursday. State health officials say that number should be around 5%.
As the school year nears, more children are contracting coronavirus. In the first week of August, nearly 20% of all COVID-19 cases were among children. The majority of those children are ages 5 to 14, according to state data.
Hospitalizations have risen for 35 straight days, and as a result, hospitals are nearly full. Across the state, only 13% of ICU beds are available, and 20% of all regular hospital beds are open.
The spiking cases have prompted several N.C. communities, including Raleigh and Durham, to reinstate mask mandates in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status.
Currently, every county in North Carolina is labeled as either high or substantial for the spread of coronavirus on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's level of community transmission map. Only Northampton and Camden counties have a lower transmission rate as indicated in orange.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is recommending that everyone wear a face mask until cases fall.
State of vaccinations as COVID-19 cases rise
More than 10 million vaccine doses have been dolled out to North Carolinians, according to data released on Friday.
58% of all adults in the state have received a coronavirus vaccine as of Friday.
As the Delta variant of coronavirus surges across the state, more people are deciding to get their shot. Vaccinations were up more than 16% last week and first doses increased more than 30% compared to the past two weeks, state health officials said.
Vaccines also seem to be working, health officials say, despite rising numbers of breakthrough infections. Those infected with COVID-19 after being vaccinated against the virus make up less than 3% of all cases reported this year.
More than 88% of all coronavirus cases reported since May 6 have been among people who are not vaccinated.
In response to rising cases, health leaders are urging everyone 12 and older to be vaccinated. Even though some vaccinated people are getting coronavirus, the vaccine protects against serious illness or death.
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized third doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccines for some people with weakened immune systems, and the CDC is expected to approve the booster on Friday.