Coronavirus updates for Oct. 6: Here’s what to know in North Carolina this week

Darin Oswald/doswald@idahostatesman.com

We’re tracking information about the coronavirus and vaccines in North Carolina. Check back every Thursday for updates.

More than 10,000 new COVID cases

At least 10,940 new coronavirus cases were reported in North Carolina last week, down from 15,356 the week before, according to preliminary data from state health officials.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services also reported 834 new weekly COVID-19 hospital patient admissions, a drop from 970 the previous week, according to figures through Oct. 1, the most recent metrics available. The daily average of adult coronavirus patients in intensive care was 101, compared to 109 the week before.

The figures were released Wednesday, Oct. 5, more than six 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 78% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and about 73% have finished an initial round of vaccine doses. Of the state’s total population, about 63% finished their initial round and about 67% have received at least one dose. State officials round vaccination metrics to the nearest whole number.

More than 3.9 million “original booster/additional doses” have been administered in North Carolina as of Oct. 5, 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’s “lineages” in the two weeks leading up to Sept. 24, the latest time period for which data is available.

How many people want the new boosters?

While 7.6 million people in the United States have gotten the new COVID-19 booster shots, many are hesitant to get them, poll results show.

In a survey of more than 1,534 U.S. adults, 67% said they were hesitant to get the newly available bivalent booster shots. Another 32% of respondents reported already getting one of the bivalent doses or making plans to get one “as soon as possible.”

Health officials have urged people to get the most recent COVID-19 vaccine doses they’re eligible for. The bivalent shots were designed to target strains of the omicron coronavirus variant, which has been spreading across the United States.

Kaiser Family Foundation conducted the poll from Sept. 15 to Sept. 26. It had a “margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points,” according to McClatchy News.

If you’re interested in getting an extra dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said it’s safe to have your appointment at the same time you receive a flu vaccine, The Charlotte Observer reported on Oct. 3.

Charlotte theater scene tries to bounce back from COVID

Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte announced plans to close, in part due to impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, the region’s arts groups are left in shock and considering ways to move forward, The Charlotte Observer reported.

In addition to COVID-19, the theater was facing the loss of its space at Queens University of Charlotte and declining ticket sales. It’s a trend that has been seen elsewhere among arts organizations, which often don’t have much money saved for future productions.

“With no donors and no ticket income, everything just dried up,” Justin Smith of Queens University of Charlotte said, according to the Queens University News Service. “It just went away.”

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