We’re tracking information about the coronavirus and vaccines in North Carolina. Check back every Thursday for updates.
Over 25,000 new COVID cases added
At least 25,051 new coronavirus cases were reported in North Carolina last week, down from 25,562 the week before, according to preliminary data from state health officials.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services also reported 971 new weekly COVID-19 hospital patient admissions, up from 895 the previous week, according to data through July 9, the most recent metrics available. The daily average of adult coronavirus patients in intensive care was 105, an increase from 96 the week before.
The figures were released Wednesday, July 13, about four months after health officials started adjusting information on their coronavirus dashboard and publishing weekly COVID-19 data. The data had previously been released almost every day.
Roughly 77% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and about 72% are fully vaccinated. Of the state’s total population, about 62% are fully vaccinated and about 66% have received at least one dose. State officials round vaccination numbers to the nearest whole number.
More than 3.8 million “additional/booster” doses have been administered in North Carolina as of July 13, the health department said. Health officials have urged those who are eligible to get boosted, as data shows it offers increased protection against the omicron coronavirus variant.
Across the state, virtually all new COVID-19 cases were attributed to the omicron variant and its related “lineages” in the two weeks leading up to July 2, the latest time period for which data is available.
NC ending pandemic-related state of emergency
Gov. Roy Cooper said he will end North Carolina’s coronavirus-related state of emergency after more than two years.
North Carolina went into the phase on March 10, 2020, a week after the state reported its first known coronavirus case.
Though the governor hadn’t issued pandemic-related restrictions in the past few months, executive orders kept the state of emergency in place. Now, it is set to end on Aug. 15 as Cooper said the state’s new budget includes public health provisions, The News & Observer reported.
The governor made the announcement on July 11, the same day the budget became law.
“The budget includes the changes in the law requested by the NC Department of Health and Human Services to ensure flexibility that is currently made possible by the Governor’s COVID-19 State of Emergency,” he said in a statement, according to The Charlotte Observer.
BA.5 omicron subvariant spreading, concerning some in NC
An omicron subvariant is gaining ground in North Carolina as the coronavirus continues to spread.
As of July 12, the subvariant BA.5 was “on track to become the dominant coronavirus strain” in the state, The News & Observer reported. Across the Triangle, some people have opted to continue wearing face masks out of concern about the strain.
“These new omicron variants continue to pose a risk to many,” said Hannah Page, a Raleigh teacher.
BA.5 is believed to be more transmissible than other subvariants that have spread across the nation in recent months. Though BA.5 can be more resistant to COVID-19 vaccines when compared to BA.2, the shots can still offer protection, The Charlotte Observer and McClatchy News reported.
This story was originally published July 14, 2022 7:00 AM.