We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and vaccines in North Carolina. Check back for updates.
Nearly 100 deaths added
At least 1,439,938 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 17,330 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday reported 3,239 new COVID-19 cases, up from 2,148 on Tuesday.
Ninety-seven additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported Wednesday. Health officials don’t specify the dates on which data newly reported deaths occurred.
At least 2,277 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday, including 617 adult patients who are being treated in intensive care units, health officials said.
On Monday, the latest date with available information, 7% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Health officials say 5% or lower is the target rate to slow the spread of the virus.
Roughly 70% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and about 65% have been fully vaccinated. State officials round vaccination numbers to the nearest whole number.
State fair attendees urged to take precautions
The North Carolina State Fair kicks off Thursday with new rules due to COVID-19.
Last week, state officials announced that it’s encouraging attendees to come vaccinated and wear face masks, though those aren’t requirements to enter. People should stay home if they feel sick, and it’s recommended that people who aren’t vaccinated get a COVID-19 test within three to five days after going to a large event, The News & Observer reported.
While case metrics have improved in recent weeks, health experts urge people to be cautious.
“This combination of high rate and low vaccination in a crowded setting makes me nervous,” said Lavanya Vasudevan, professor of community health at Duke University School of Medicine. “If I was advising the State Fair, I would recommend mandatory masks and vaccination, not one or the other.”
COVID clusters linked to 19 Triangle schools
Clusters of coronavirus cases have been tied to 19 schools in the Triangle, data show.
That’s a drop from last week, when clusters were reported at 28 schools in the region, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
The counts are down after the state saw a surge in cases from the delta variant. Still, some families are concerned because only children ages 12 and older are currently eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The schools most recently linked to groups of COVID-19 cases were in Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Harnett, Orange and Wake counties. Click here for a list of affected campuses.