RALEIGH, N.C. Local Charlotte — New COVID-19 cases in North Carolina climbed for the first time since late July.
After weeks of consistent drops, public health officials reported upticks in each of the state’s key COVID-19 measures in the weekly update posted Wednesday by the state Department of Health and Human Resources.
New cases were up 12 percent, hospital admissions climbed by 4 percent and the number of virus particles in wastewater remained volatile, rising by 48 percent.
The state also recorded its 27,000th COVID-19 death of the pandemic after 281 more were added over the past week.
While the BA.5 version of omicron remained the dominant variant, accounting for 65 percent of samples sequenced by labs statewide, four other variants made up at least 4 percent — including BA 4.6 (16 percent).
The rate at which eligible North Carolinians have received the new bivalent booster shot climbed by two percentage points in the past week to 13 percent with the addition of another 111,000 — bringing the total boosted to 833,165.
A total of 8,020 new cases were reported during the week of Oct. 23-29, the first weekly increase since the week ending July 23. But it’s still the second-lowest weekly case count in more than six months.
NCDHHS counted 10.1 million particles of the virus in wastewater per person last week — a massive jump from the 6.8 million a week ago. But, in a sign of how up-and-down that measure can be, last week’s figure was a drop of 50 percent from the previous week.
The state also reported 623 people being admitted to hospitals with COVID, up slightly from 601 a week earlier.
And 4.1 percent of visits to emergency rooms were for COVID-like symptoms — up slightly from 3.9 percent the previous week.
A total of 27,234 people have died during the pandemic, NCDHHS says.
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